Gardens are greener

National Trust properties in south Somerset have trimmed energy costs, time and noise as well as hedges this year.
The four properties in this area of Trust administration switched to battery power in 2011 for the significant hedge cutting and topiary work that has to be undertaken annually and the results are significant.
It is the Trust’s Greener Garden Fund that aided the purchase of Pellenc Helion lithium-ion battery-powered trimmers.
Damien Mitchell, the gardener at Lytes Cary Manor at Charlton Mackrell has two and half miles of hedging all told, predominantly of yew, hornbeam, beech, lime and privet. Work to keep them trim begins in mid-May and finishes in late October, which is peak visiting time and before now, when petrol or electric trimmers were used, this presented Damien with a variety of health and safety issues as well as user and visitor discomfort. Noise levels and trailing wires were the main offenders.
This year for the first time he used a Pellenc Helion hedge cutter with back-pack battery unit which drastically cut noise, user fatigue, and detrimental effect on passing visitors. The power for the batteries comes from an on-site solar panel. Three to four hours of free charging is enough for a day’s operation, so Damien’s cutting work is about as energy efficient as you can get and with zero carbon emission.

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