Horses rather than machines used in removing felled diseased trees in Wales

In Wales, the BBC reports that horses are replacing machines in removing felled larch diseased trees from sensitive woodland in Fforest Fawr near Tongwynlais, on the outskirts of Cardiff. This is an ancient tradition. The work will last for three months and is intended to stop the spread of large disease (Phytophthora ramorum).

Horses rather than machines used in removing felled diseased trees in Wales
Horses rather than machines used in felling and removing large diseased trees. Image: Natural Resources Wales.

Chris Rees, the team leader of forest operations for Natural Resources Wales said: “We used horses in other south Wales central woodlands last year and we are looking forward to keeping this wonderful tradition alive in in Fforest Fawr .

So, what are the advantages of using horses over machinery to transport logged trees out of a forest? Obviously, it is nice to maintain the tradition. It is nice to use horses because they can be active and working horses and I will presume that they enjoy the work as long as they are treated kindly.

But there are other advantages such as:

  • The woodland floor and paths are minimally disturbed.
  • Horses don’t create ruts and other damage to the ground.
  • The disturbance caused by the horses scarifies the ground creating a seedbed for natural regeneration.
  • There are no reinstatement costs.
  • Timber can be pulled out to rides or road side, where forwarders can access it.

I’m thankful to Dorset horse logging for this information.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful
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Post Category: Horses > working horses