Course manager, Andy Ralphs, invited us to look at a number of areas on the course which were in need of vegetation management. Being a heathland course, it boasts a number of large areas of gorse, as well as woodland areas where bramble, grass and bracken have naturalised. Some areas are on fairly steep gradient banks. These areas needed to be cleared in preparation for landscaping and seeding with Fescue grass seed, introducing heather and also regenerating new gorse growth. The aim of the work was to help revitalise the heathland feel.
Some areas had not been managed for a number of years and the gorse was as tall as 8 -10 feet in places and very dense. Located on steep banks, we brought in our two Flailbots; designed with this type of job in mind, the challenging terrain was easily navigated by the remote controlled tracked mower.
We used the Forestry head on one machine, to cut down the gorse to ground level. The second machine was fixed with the standard Flail head in order to finely mulch the gorse. This method increased productivity.The gorse had to be mulched down to a fine mulch using the Forestry mulching head and followed up with the flail head mulching the gorse down even finer.
For the woodland areas, we cleared large areas of bramble, grass and bracken in order to allow desirable growth to regenerate.
The works were carried out over a 2-week period with 2 machines per day.
“Founded in 1910 and designed by the distinguished architect Herbert Fowler, Delamere Forest Golf Club is widely regarded as one of the finest traditional heathland golf courses in England. The club’s current rating as the best inland course in Cheshire and 46th in England by Top 100 Golf Courses is well deserved. Situated in the heart of rural Cheshire but with easy access, Delamere is often described as a ‘hidden gem’. Its rolling fairways are interspersed with heather and gorse, crowned by fast, subtle greens which are typical of Fowler’s early designs.”