Managing Woodlands with Working Horses
Woodland management is a huge part of our job at the Wildlife Trust. Well managed woodlands are havens for biodiversity and can even be a source of income for the Trust, for example, at Gelli Hir wood, where we use the coppice to create 'Gower Charcoal' for sale in local shops.
To do this, we sometimes need to extract timber from areas that may be difficult to access with machinery, or it may be a nature reserve where bringing machinery into the area could even cause damage to the habitat.
With this in mind, members of the WTSWW Conservation team recently attended a Flora Locale training course on 'Using Horses to Manage Woodlands.'
Horse logging can be very beneficial in woodlands that are difficult to access using machinery, causing very little damage to the ground, flora or remaining trees in the woodland and they can even match the speed of machinery when the extraction route isn't too long.
We met with Kate Mobbs-Morgan of Rowan Working Horses, and her two amazing Ardennes horses Kipp and Sol, who were built for the job at 850kg and 750kg apiece!
We all got to try using the horses to extract large logs from the woodland and were immediately able to see the benefits. We are now hoping to use horses in the future to help us manage some of our woodlands- watch this space!