Royal Blackheath is located in South East London and was formally instituted in 1608, making it possibly the oldest golf course in the world. The club can trace its rich and illustrious history back to the 16th century when James VI of Scotland proceeded with his Scottish court to London. The 18 hole course is set in 123 acres in the smoke free zone of Greenwich, completely surrounded by woodland. In order to manage this ever ‘growing’ problem the club was badly in need of a wood chipper and turned to GreenMech.
Simon Brittan is Deputy Course Manager and chief mechanic and has been at the club for 25 years – his engineering background standing him in good stead, along with general farming experience, for this dual role. No slouch to Greenkeeping either having completed various City & Guilds exams. Simon has the support of a team of five others along with the Course Manager.
“We have literally thousands of trees on the site that require constant maintenance,” he said, “and to find a way of disposing of the waste we turned to chipping.” He says they made extensive enquiries, speaking to lots of tree surgeons and other industry contacts. He added, “At Royal Blackheath we have a tradition of contacting other people who have used the machine we’re interested in. It’s all well and good talking to salesmen but we like to find out from the people that have maintained a machine to get a better insight.”
Most recommendations came for a GreenMech chipper so the club purchased a ChipMaster 220 after considering it to be the most suited to their needs from the range offered. With no need for a demonstration it wasn’t until the delivery that Simon met GreenMech’s Julian Cullis, who has gone on to provide any additional support that has been required.
Six months in and the machine has just finished a very busy winter, being used sometimes daily, but at least every other day. Simon has not been disappointed with it, “It’s extremely powerful and does what’s expected of it – handling everything very well. Not being able to burn waste has turned into an asset with plenty of wood chippings finding good use around the club.”