Thurrock Council in Essex came up with a novel solution to cutting the grass at one of its sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) recently. The council called in local heavy horse experts Hawthorn Heavy Horses who used a specially adapted Dennis gang mower.
The mower is fitted with a set of jockey wheels to make it easier to control and steer. According to Liz Wood, trees officer at Thurrock, Holly the Suffolk Punch (that's another lawn mower name, by the way) will be helping cut the grass throughout 2010. Collectors and enthusiasts will be familiar with the old fashioned pony and horse drawn lawn mowers from period up to World War Two but it's very unusual to see horses with modern mowers. What a great way to manage grassland in a natural setting without disturbing wildlife.
Dennis is supplying 27 of its top-of-the-range mowers to the stadiums staging the World Cup in South Africa next month. The company, in its current and former guises, has a great history of supplying mowers to sportsgrounds throughout the UK and overseas. Many collectors will have seen images of Dennis machines in use at venues such as Wembley Stadium and Lord's Cricket Ground. You can see a video about the latest order, which Dennis says is its most prestigious ever, by clicking here.