Managing the Mendips
By: Tony Hoyland
The Mendip Hills Living Landscape Project is finding that the Kubota L3200 mid-range tractor is essential to help manage its 16 reserves which cover more than 750 hectares across the Mendip Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The project began in April 2006 to maintain, create and link important wildlife habitats in order to help species thrive in the face of climate change. As a result, careful management and maintenance is required to create and sustain flower-rich meadows, vibrant heathlands and tranquil woodland– and, naturally, a tractor is a vital requirement for a wide variety of day-to-day tasks undertaken by the Trust.
Work now carried out using the Kubota tractor includes livestock management, such as feeding, cleaning-out and chain harrowing, the control of bracken and thistles and moving heavy materials, particularly those used for dry stone walling.
West Mendip Reserves Officer, Kate Lawrence, said: "Of the recognised brands, we considered Kubota to be a good all-rounder that ticked all the boxes. It offers a capable, no fuss spec, which is a major advantage because quite simply there’s less to go wrong.
"Taking into account the affordable price tag, we have found the L3200 to be practical, comfortable and simple. Its compact size and manoeuvrability ensures that it handles well even when negotiating difficult situations such as through the narrow gateways in dry stone walls.
"The L3200 is used every day all year round, sometimes for long periods depending on the task required and never struggles, is always comfortable and particularly good on fuel."
However, while her local dealer does provide regular maintenance, Kate’s insistence on having a dealer on her doorstep should the tractor go wrong proved to be an unfounded concern. In the three years since The Wildlife Trust purchased the Kubota L3200, Kate reports that it has never missed a beat and she and her colleagues have enjoyed day-in day-out reliable service without experiencing a single fault.
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