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Can a robotic lawn mower cut it? If the green, green grass of home is taking up your time and energy, a lively little labourer could well be the solution, Beth Ritchie discovers
 

TUCKED away in a sunny corner of Cookham, Berkshire, we’re watching Kurt go out to do his daily chores. Ambling around the large garden, it’s his job to ensure that the lawn is always lush and spotless, and he takes the task very seriously. Working seven days a week from 7am to 11pm, he doesn’t require an hourly rate, comfort breaks or even access to drinking water.

Kurt is a robotic lawn mower and he has quickly become indispensable to his owner. We’re now deep into mowing season and most of us have grudgingly added lawn mowing to our weekly list of chores. But the new automated trend could spell an end to the strains of having a lovely lawn, and give us more time to enjoy the fleeting British summer.

Already a popular sight around the rest of the Europe, us Brits have been slow on the uptake for these lawn bots which promise to be the answer to all our grass prayers. But thanks to specialist supplier and installers like James Scott, owner of Autolawn, robotic lawnmowers are now available in the UK.

But do they live up to the hype? We spoke to Dennis Orchard, Kurt’s owner and robotic lawn mower convert, who believes that they really do: “Once I started working from home I became more aware of how quickly my lawn grows. Keeping on top of it was distracting me from my work! When I got Kurt all that changed, whenever I look out the window he’s mowing.

“When his battery is running low, he goes back to his charging station before coming out again. I used to return from holidays with dread, knowing that the lawn would need
my immediate attention. Now Kurt takes care of all that, it’s a huge weight off my mind.”

Robotic lawn mowers might seem space age, but they are cleverly simple. A guide wire is laid around the edge of the garden and the robot mows everywhere within the wire. This means that however intricate, or full of obstacles your lawn might be, a robotic lawn mower like Kurt can handle it.

“Initially I was concerned whether he’d be able to cope with the size and shape of my hourglass garden. But he exceeded my expectations,” says Dennis. Indeed, the garden is huge, with lots of awkward areas. But Kurt tackles it all with ease.

Peter Simmonds from Marlow was also concerned whether a robotic lawn mower could handle his large, sloping garden. “I had moved from a London town house to a house with a large garden in the Chilterns. I was considering ride on mowers, but I chanced upon robotic lawn mowers and I’m so glad I did. Husky (the name he’s given his mower) has more than delivered. There’s no noise or remembering to cut the lawn when it’s dry, it always looks perfect.”

And part of the reason for this perfection is the robotic lawn mower’s ability to mulch the clippings. The mulch provides the perfect fertiliser to keep the lawn lush and healthy. 

But why the name? Naming your mower has become standard practice within the robotic lawn mower community. “You can’t help but develop a rapport with them,” says Dennis, while his dog, Walter, sniff Kurt companionably. “Kurt is part of the family, I’d never go back to a standard mower now.”
 

 

James ScottComment