Potters bowled over by Dennis
By Sue Meeken
The Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk is famous for hosting the annual World Indoor Bowls Championships. But bowls is just one of the many indoor and outdoor sports and activities offered at this thriving holiday village. Situated at Hopton-on-Sea, midway between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, the 65-acre complex is open to guests all year round, with entertainments for all ages, from football and golf, to tennis and rounders - plus, of course, bowls.
The facilities, which are set amongst landscaped grounds and gardens, will grow further in 2006 with extensions to the golf course, more putting greens, a golf driving range, croquet lawn and more bowling greens.
Grounds maintenance is in the hands of Head Gardener, Anthony Frost (pictured right), who has been with Potters for nine years. "We welcome guests to the site 365 days a year - we never close. The grounds staff have to work unobtrusively, while completing tasks to the highest standards and with the minimum of machinery."
A key item of equipment in Anthony's fleet is his Dennis FT510 pedestrian mower. As well as being a precision grass cutter, it can accept interchangeable cassettes that enable other essential turf care tasks to be undertaken with the one machine.
"Initially I was in the market for a spiker and scarifier, plus a lightweight mower for cutting in winter without harming the turf. But when my local turf equipment dealer, Ben Burgess Ltd of Norwich, told me I could do everything with one FT510 plus attachments, I was fascinated."
The 51cm (20in) wide FT510 is designed for optimum balance and is belt-driven, making it smoother and quieter than chain driven machines. Cutting height can be altered quickly and independent drive enables the revs to be set high for a fast cut, while the operator controls the forward speed. This gives more cuts per metre, for a perfect finish.
Anthony Frost has chosen several cassette attachments for his FT510, including a 9-blade cutting cylinder, verticutter, scarifier, and a sorrel roller. He also plans to buy a turf brush cassette for the machine, for cleaning debris from the outdoor synthetic bowling greens.
"I'm delighted with the FT510," says Anthony. "It is so well built - cast engineering at its best, and with an excellent Honda engine. It's robust and straightforward to operate so that anyone can use it. Performance is superb and the quick-change cassettes are great, giving operation flexibility and cost-effectiveness.""The Dennis FT510 has done everything I expected of it, and more. I simply can't fault it."