Private preparatory school Spratton Hall has selected a Toro Groundsmaster 4500 rotary mower to help raise the standards of its sports pitches.
In recent years the Northampton school - which has long been renowned for its rugby - has started to promote the importance of personal fitness to its student population of over 400 three- to 13-year-olds, encouraging them to try a diversity of sports spanning cricket, athletics, dance and Pilates.
As part of this sports and fitness drive, the school was keen to improve the quality of its 40-acre sports turf, which is set in the sprawling countryside surroundings of Spratton village. However, head groundsman Doug McCarlie lacked the professional-performance equipment he needed to improve and maintain the grounds to the standards required.
"It's no good having these facilities if you haven't got the equipment you need to keep it how you want it," he explains. "In the past we've struggled to keep up - for instance, if ever it rained on a Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend, we'd have four days of grass growth to contend with, which was too much for our old cylinder mower and meant we had to take it down in two or three passes."
Knowing he needed a rotary mower, Doug fought to get the best in the business - a Toro Groundsmaster 4500. "It was double my budget, but I took the headmaster out on a test-drive and it sold itself! It was a substantial investment for us, but it's been worth it and we're really pleased. Even after several days of growth, we can take the grass down in just one pass with the Toro mower."
As well as the new mower, Doug has invested in a turf slitter and regular verti-drainage. "As a result we've got a thicker sward with less weeds," he adds. "We're also having to do less pitch rotation thanks to the improved quality, so we're getting full use of the grounds. Spratton Hall feeds to top schools like Rugby and Oundle, so it's great that the kids are now getting the opportunity to play on such high standard sports grounds."
Toro commercial turf maintenance products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely (UK) Limited, 1 Station Road, St Neots, PE19 1QH. Call 01480 226800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.toro.com/ for further details.