Narrow Mowers

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olcadmin
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Narrow Mowers

I had an interesting email this afternoon from a chap who's looking for a narrow mower with which to maintain a graveyard. I've already mentioned to him about the older hand roller and motor rotary mowers that were designed for this use but I suspect they would be rather impractical in this particular situation, even if one could be found in working order at a reasonable price.

So the question is, are there any practical modern(ish) machines that could be used in the confines of a graveyard or cemetery? I understand that the gaps between some stones are very narrow and that a strimmer is not really an option.

All views welcome...

Thanks.

Keith

wristpin
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The Hayter Hawk was produced

The Hayter Hawk was produced for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission specifically for that purpose. Twelve inch cut , four wheels with optional anti scalp rollers front and back.  They crop up on that auction site from time to time. 

In the 1980s the local authorities were regularly disposing of them and we used to buy them at auction just for the engines. Not unusual to buy four or five at a time for a fiver each.

EDIT

Just occurred to me that a Flymo TL might be an option. 12" cut with a Kawasaki two-stroke. They too crop up on the auction sites from time to time.

merryman
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Not sure why a strimmer is

Not sure why a strimmer is out, as I would have thought it would be the ideal tool for mowing round gravestones. What about one of those wheeled strimmers, the wheeled bit probably wouldn't go through, but the head could go between the stones. Or am I missing something?

hillsider
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A churchyard near me is kept

A churchyard near me is kept very tidy by a pair of DR wheeled trimmers and a ride on mower but the very restricted areas still need to be trimmed using a brush cutter with no damage to grave stones.

wristpin
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Not sure why a strimmer is

Not sure why a strimmer is out, as I would have thought it would be the ideal tool for mowing round gravestones. What about one of those wheeled strimmers, the wheeled bit probably wouldn't go through, but the head could go between the stones. Or am I missing something?

There is a misconception that the use of nylon line trimmers  (Strimmer is a Black and Decker trade mark)  is banned from grave yards. The suggested code of practice used by Parochial Church Councils as guidance for all matters pertaining to churchyards is contained in The Churchyards Handbook and although under maintenance it mentions that "strimmers" (their use of the word) and herbicides may damage monuments , nowhere does it suggest that either are banned.  Very old monuments and headstones with soft or badly weathered stone may be susceptible to damage from the careless use of any machinery but with care the use of either hand held or wheeled line trimmers is the pragmatic answer to the maintenance.

As is the case of my own village, churchyards (as opposed to municipal cemeteries)  are often maintained by voluntary labour, usually by the "leisured retired" and within reason anything that eases the burden and gets the job done should be considered. One of the issues with less formal churchyards is that the layout does not lend itself to mechanised maintenance.  Our churchyard is maintained with a the combination of a ride-on mower, a Flymo on an undercarriage and a hand held nylon line trimmer , all of which are needed for particular areas.