Barnett Wood, Wigmore

July 14, 2014
We were blessed with fantastic weather for this contract, although it did come with dozens of horseflies!  Our job was to bring out some sizeable oak logs which are due to be sawn on site into planks and posts, and clear the rest for firewood. John, one of our clients, as well as manning the chainsaw took and then edited some lovely video of Elza at work.  This can be viewed on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVxmLBUqX60



 

Pont Llogel SSSI

January 26, 2014
This was a small job for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and took a couple of days to complete.  NRW had felled a number or red oak trees in this woodland SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in order to open up the canopy to encourage growth of native plants.  The red oaks were chosen because as an American species they are not native to Wales.  The key challenge at Pont Llogel was how to get the timber out without damaging the gravel footpath which forms a section of both the Ann Griffi...
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Laundry Lane

December 26, 2013
Since September I have been working on and off on this job with Barbara Haddrill from Carnog Working Horses.  Its a Natural Resources Wales owned site and Barbara has a contract with NRW to thin out up to 120 tonnes of mostly non-native species - particularly beech, sitka spruce and Douglas fir.  Working with Kevin Taylor - an apprentice horse logger - and Duncan Goulder, Barbara and myself have undertaken the felling and extraction with Elza and Barbara's pair of ponies - Tyler and Billy.

We ...
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Clearing Knucklas Castle

April 17, 2013
This one was a bit of a first for Elza and I, instead of normal horse logging (if there is such a thing) we were dragging whole trees across the castle mound at Knucklas.  We spend three days moving hawthorn scrub trees that had been cut from the mound to an old quarry site where volunteers from the Knucklas Castle Community Land Project were cutting the trees up for firewood and to burn the brash.  On the Saturday we were lucky to see a "double header" steam train using two locomotives to pu...
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East End Wood, Stansted Airport

March 27, 2013
When I tell people I have been horse logging for two weeks at Stansted Airport they seem surprised; well I suppose we weren't in the airport but we couldn't have been much closer.  I was working with Matt Waller from Hawthorn Heavy Horses at East End Wood literally at the east end of the runway.  The wood a SSSI is owned by the airport and as part of their management plan some large oaks had been felled and Matt and I had the job to get the timber out, which we did with the help of two of Haw...
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Clunton Coppice

March 10, 2013
I spent yesterday horse logging at Clunton Coppice, a lovely Shropshire Wildlife Trust site.  This was part of the trust's open day at the site to demonstrate what they are doing and to encourage people to join up.  For Elza and I, it was more than a demonstration as we had some timber to move from where it had been felled to create some glades along the main footpath.

Tim Walter, a volunteer from the trust sent me through some pictures he had taken, so here's one...



More of Tim's pictures can ...
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Crambe Wood

March 10, 2013
A trip to a British Horse Loggers committee meeting in Sheffield presented me with a good excuse to visit my old friend Peter Lawley and the wood that he owns near York.  Peter bought the small wood a couple of years ago and having got the Rhododendron pretty much under control, his thoughts had moved on to management of the canopy trees.  I last visited the wood soon after he had bought it and at that time set out for him some management recommendations.  One of these was to undertake some t...
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Cader Idris

March 4, 2013
Just back from three days horse logging at Planhigfa Moelfryn, below Cader Idris, working with Doug Joiner and my horse Elza.  We had a number of big softwoods to fell, extract the timber and get on to Doug's mobile saw mill, where it was immediately turned in to a variety of planks and beams to be used in Snowdonia National Park.

We were joined by Pete Harmer, who felled the biggest trees and Masatoshi Nishino who was visiting from Japan and took these photos.

 


 




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Bracken control

December 19, 2012

On 1 January 2013 it will become illegal to use the bracken-control chemical Asulam.  The chemical, which was sold as Asulox, was banned by the EU on 31 December 2011 but those who already had stocks had a year to use these up. While good in small areas, as it provides cover for animals, bracken can be a real problem, quickly becoming a monoculture, shading out and eliminating wild plants and flowers.Landowners are now considering their options, the main alternative...


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Horse Logging demo at Chapel Lawn

October 15, 2012
Last week, enjoying the superb weekend weather, Elza and I attended a launch and fundraiser for the Redlake Valley Community Benefit Society (RVCBS) at Chapel Lawn in Shropshire.  We were doing a demonstration of horse logging in order to draw interested people to the event.  The benefit society is selling shares in a local woodland which hangs on the slopes above Chapel Lawn village.



The wood is called Brineddin Wood and the RVCBS are raising money for shares in a 2- acre strip called Quillet...
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