Carden Park is a luxury resort hotel set in 1,000 acres of picturesque countryside only 20 minutes from Chester. The estate features a 197-bedroom hotel, 2 championship golf courses and one of the leading spas in Europe (recently opened in 2020); along with fine dining, outdoor pursuits, sculpture, a vineyard and other world-class facilities.
Chosen by many large corporate clients and sports teams for the incredible rural location and unmatched facilities, Carden Park recently hosted the Swedish Women’s Football Team for the UEFA 2022 Euros.
We visited Golf Courses & Estates Manager, Peter Pattenden, to learn more.
Tell me a bit about yourself and the facilities you have to look after at Carden Park
I've been in the industry for over 30 years, starting my career at Gleneagles I moved to Carden Park 16 years ago. We have just over a thousand acres; including a 1.1 mile drive, two 18 hole golf courses and a UEFA approved football pitch. We also have a three-acre vineyard where we produce our own sparkling wine. We produce between 1000 and 15,000 bottles a year which we sell directly through the hotel. We also have an eight-acre driving range. On site at this moment in time during the summer months, we have 24 green keeping staff.
You’ve just hosted the Swedish women’s football team. Tell me more about this.
The pitch here at Carden Park is over 25 years old. Last year we had it resurfaced and seeded on the 16th of September, so it has had around 10 weeks growth before winter set in and obviously then the growth was dormant. At the start of December, we had a visit from a representative from Sweden who came to look at Carden Park Hotel for the women’s national team. They were very impressed with the hotel facilities and the pitch in particular. Every morning throughout their stay, they came down and spoke to the maintenance crew and thanked us for the quality of the pitch. It’s always nice to get feedback!
What did a typical day look like with the team on site?
Because we’re actually a mile away from the hotel we have to bring the mowers down and also the generators because we had to have mobile toilets here for the footballers. The pitch would then be mown with the cylinder mowers which make everything crisp and clean. The team would come down to the pitch about quarter to eleven and the irrigation system would be on just to give the pitch a quick water before they train for the day. Training would finish around one o'clock and then it would be a case of lifting the goal nets up for the maintenance crew to come back with the Uplift 86E’s to hoover up all the debris from the player’s studs.
What are your thoughts on the Uplift’s?
The Uplift’s for collection have been absolutely fantastic! Again, right at the very start of Sweden coming in we were using hydraulic cylinder mowers and we actually had a hydraulic leak hence the reason I was speaking with my local dealer Cheshire Turf Machinery and he advised me about the Allett Uplift 86E’s and also the C34E cylinder mower so we had a demo of those machines and never looked back. We managed to get four of those units in and they've been perfect for us. The height of cut change is easy enough on both mowers. This can be done in the middle of the pitch and we don’t need any tools. They are easy to use and again you can tip them back at the edge of the pitch without having to worry about fuel spillage. It's then just a case of giving them a clean off and recharging and replacing the batteries every day. Carden Park’s owner is hugely passionate about sustainability, and we see battery powered mowing as very much the future here at the estate.