Training for Success

Group of staff with certificates outside Mount Stewart house
Published : 10 Aug 2016

The recent acquisition of Mount Stewart Demesne, combined with one of the top gardens in the world makes Mount Stewart one of Northern Ireland’s most important heritage sites. With the on-going restoration of garden areas and the opening up of new trails through the historic demesne the National Trust has been working with Greyabbey based business, Peninsula Mowers, to train staff to safely carry out their conservation work.

The conservation charity’s gardening team at Mount Stewart and rangers from other National Trust places in Northern Ireland recently gained their LANTRA tractor driving certificates, after completing training with Peninsula Mowers. LANTRA is a leading awarding body for land-based and environmental training courses and qualifications.

Mount Stewart Gardens Manager, Paul Stewart said: ‘With the work that is undertaken at heritage sites cared for by the National Trust, our core staff need to be trained to ensure they are competent in all tasks. Machinery, including tractors, is always going to be a feature of any work in a garden or historic landscape and we are delighted that local business, Peninsula Mowers, were able to provide this quality development opportunity for our staff.’

Paul continued: ‘As a charity the National Trust relies on members, donations and volunteers to protect special places like Mount Stewart, an important part of our heritage and a major tourist attraction. Mount Stewart is part of the local economy, and where possible we work with local suppliers, including providers of training. We take the development of our employees and the health and safety of all who visit or work at Mount Stewart very seriously.’

Neville Stewart of Peninsula Mowers said: ‘Since launching the training side of our business in April 2016, we have developed a business relationship with Paul and his team at Mount Stewart, Strangford Lough and a number of other places further afield such as Carrick-a-Rede on the North coast. While the initial focus of our business was on the servicing and repairs of various garden machinery and agriculture equipment, we have expanded the business to include training.  As a LANTRA approved provider, we offer a wide range of courses, from tractor driving to all-terrain vehicles, pesticide and various courses for the safe use of horticultural and agricultural machinery.  

‘Peninsula Mowers are a small business, based in the heart of North Down, our focus is primarily on providing customers with a level of training or service which warrants repeat business year on year.’

For information about the range of services Peninsula Mowers offers, contact Neville on 07966031184 or 02842788595; email