With one eye on preserving the past and the other on ensuring the site remains fit for the future, Crathes Castle – part of the National Trust for Scotland collection – have invested in a battery-powered cylinder mower from INFINICUT®. Utilising funding from the National Trust, the venue took delivery of a 22” INFINICUT® FX last September for the sustainable management of gardens and lawned areas – in a way that brings benefit to the venue and visitors alike.
For the last five years, James Hannaford has been the Head Gardener at Crathes Castle – a 16th century castle nestled amongst over 520 acres of ornamental gardens, lawns and woodland near Banchory in Aberdeenshire. “Like a lot of places, we’re reviewing our practices to reflect the changing times and switching to more electric machinery to be cleaner and kinder to the environment” explains James. “We looked at the options available and first of all were amazed at how far the technology has come in the few years since we first looked at electric mowers. What stood out for us with the INFINICUT® was the ease of use, the versatility and the quality of cut.”
James and the team purchased the FX22 with two SMARTCut™ cassettes – the 7-blade cylinder for lawned areas and 11-blade option for a finer cut on the sites croquet lawn. “The finish is excellent and noise has been almost completely eliminated, which is better for our environment and the thousands of visitors we get through the gardens every year. Visitor enjoyment is critical to the success of our venues.”
“We can also control the mower via Bluetooth and an app on your phone, so settings can be changed and saved for things like the traction and brake speed.” He adds, “You can also store different set-ups for different weather conditions, for example wet and dry configurations.”
James says that the utilisation of the INFINICUT® has peaked public interest in the more sustainable solutions to turf management. “People are genuinely interested in it when we’re out using it, and discussing it only makes them more environmentally aware. With this investment we are improving quality of presentation and visitor experience, while reducing our petrol costs and environmental impact. It’s a win win situation!”