Horsepower employed to manage woodland

31 October 2019

Traditional methods are being employed to manage woodland we own.

Real horsepower has been used in woodland thinning works at Millennium Wood in Kendal.

The timber extraction by Grange-based Celtic Horse Logging is part of our woodland management plan, which has been approved by the Forestry Commission.

Working with horses in forestry is considered the most environmentally-friendly method of timber extraction, being sustainable and carbon neutral and avoiding compaction damaging the ground and increasing the likelihood of water run-off.

The real benefit of horsepower is on sensitive sites, next to rivers and lakes, steep ground and amenity woodlands frequented by the public.

The works at Millennium Wood are to remove diseased trees and encourage natural regeneration, to create a wider selection of wildlife habitats and improve the ecological value of the woodland. Part of the strategy includes taking out some ash and carrying out replacement planting as a way of preventing the spread of the disease, ash dieback.

We have previously used horse logging as part of woodland thinning works at School Knott, Windermere.

Simon Lenihan from Celtic Horse Logging said: "Working with horses remains the most environmentally friendly, low-carbon form of timber harvesting.’’

Celtic Horse Logging have six horses, a mixture of Belgian Ardennes and North Swedish, which have been bred for forestry work.

The company has worked all over the UK and can boast some royal connections, with Prince Charles employing Celtic Horse Logging to carry out forestry work on his Balmoral and Duchy of Cornwall estates.

Our arboriculturalist Graham Nicholson said: “It is a wonderful sight to see this work to conserve and enhance the biodiversity of the district being carried out by horses in an effective, environmentally friendly way.

"Managing our woodland and wildlife habitats in the best way possible is vitally important and this work will ensure that Millennium Wood can be enjoyed for many, many years to come."

A horse from Celtic Horse Logging is pictured being used for timber extraction at School Knott, Windermere, in 2017.

Horse logging

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