THERE IS plenty of unproductive ground in Scotland that could usefully be turned over to woodland and other species rich habitats – but some of it needs a good clear out first, particularly where gorse and broom have got a grip.

To assist farmers in such land management in and around Ross-shire, agricultural contractor John Mackenzie, from Lower Geanies, Fearn, has just purchased a Teagle 2.2m EXF Forestry Mulcher equipped with a fearsome rigid carbide tooth rotor, which he powers off a reverse drive N174 Valtra.

According to Mr Mackenzie, the Teagle is just the thing for 'aggressively' getting gorse and broom out of the way to allow for the establishment of both grasslands and woodlands. “The EXF is a brilliant machine for this job,” he said.

“The hydraulically adjustable rear hood raised fully and the profile of the rigid teeth. This allows for a very aggressive initial chop of all the material. Following that up with a second pass with the hood lowered leaves a fine mulch that can be used as part of the seedbed. The biggest problem apart from access when you are tackling areas like this is stones and perhaps other debris that is not exactly machine friendly. The machine has coped with it all no problem.”

He continued: “The machine is really easy to maintain and the greasing points are very accessible. We are just about to replace the tips on the rotor and I am really happy with wear rates. I previously worked a mulcher on a skid steer loader and the tips have lasted as long on the EXF as they did on the previous machine. The mulcher has to work in some fairly harsh environments and the reliability of the implement has been excellent.

"The local dealership for Teagle is nine miles away at Invergordon and personally, that dealer locality was also an important consideration when purchasing," he added. "The machine was recommended to us by a forest machinery professional within my area and his recommendation has been spot on."