It is normal as winter bites to see open space management move away from grass cutting and over to leaf clearing and woodland maintenance. For many years now the Environmental Protection Act, along with the Clean Air Act, has considered the burning of waste as not appropriate. Therefore this has severely reduced the ability of using the traditional bonfire to dispose of wood waste created from the maintenance of trees and hedges. In addition, anyone found improperly disposing of waste to be in breach of their duty of care and risks being prosecuted and fined.
Open space areas by their nature tend to be surrounded by trees and it is important that the right methods of disposal are used. The fines handed out to those who continue to dispose of wood waste by burning can be quite excessive. For example anyone lighting a fire and allowing it to drift across a highway could face a fine of £2,000 under the Highways (Amendment) Act 1986. Fines like this go a long way towards the cost of hiring or even buying the correct equipment.
Even if the more usable wood, certainly that of over 70mm in size, is used for firewood it is the brash residue that needs to be attended to and not to end up on a fire. It’s no surprise then that, with this continuing pressure, owners and managers of establishments, like golf courses and large estates, have been investing in GreenMech wood chippers to maintain their woody waste.
Within the GreenMech range are models of all configurations and sizes. In the case of Sunningdale Golf Club they currently operate a Quad Chip 160which is powered by its own engine and has the ability to be towed behind a vehicle, whilst Beaconsfield Golf Club, Northwood Golf Club and Stoneleigh Deer Park all have PTO driven Eco 150 TMPs.
Richard Biggs at Stoneleigh Deer Park is enthusiastic about chipping and when asked about his Eco 150 TMP offered: “Not only is it environmentally friendly but cost effective and labour saving too. Imagine starting a fire – you wouldn’t dare leave it for fear of it getting out of hand and would need somebody to keep an eye on it all day.”
He continued, “The wood chippings we get can be used as a weed suppressant around flower beds or scattered around the base of trees in the summer to help moisture retention – that all helps my budget. We’ve also used some to make a very cost effective temporary footpath.”