Brightlingsea Town Council has purchased a new tractor to help it maintain the town's recreation fields and promenade – and keep the cycle path up Church Hill clear of debris.
The compact Ventrac has been chosen for its ability to multi-task when fitted with different attachments. The tractor cost £40,000 and the council estimates that maintenance costs over 10 years will fall by around £30,000 compared with its old machine, which was sold for £2,500.
Graham Steady, the council's portfolio holder for the Western Promenade explained: “We haven’t just purchased a mower; we’ve effectively bought three different machines. During higher- than-average tides, the promenade around the children’s paddling pool can become covered with sand and shingle making it impossible for pushchairs and accessibility buggies to negotiate this area. The Ventrac worked exceptionally well during the initial demonstration, clearing the pathway in minutes."
Brightlingsea’s grounds manager, Terry Hamilton, added: “We’ve certainly purchased a very versatile piece of kit. We’re replacing an ageing mower with this Ventrac and the MU deck, which provides the same level of finish, so we’re not sacrificing quality or overall presentation. We have two recreation grounds to maintain, one of which is on clay and just above the water table, so can be very wet at certain times of the year. The Ventrac, in its eight-wheel configuration, has an exceptionally low ground pressure, enabling us to mow whatever the conditions.
“The Church Hill cycle path, constructed by Essex County Council, has not been regularly maintained, causing cyclists to use the road and resulting in frustration for other road users. We have now taken responsibility for this and the Power Broom will be used to keep it debris-free and usable at all times."