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Horse logging returns to ancient woodland site near Llantrisant

01 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Logging with Horses. Photo by hickmanwoods is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Natural Resources Wales’s will be turning back the clock to use traditional forestry techniques to thin an area of sensitive woodland at Tyn y Coed near Llantrisant.

Building on the award-winning project delivered in 2019, NRW’s Forestry Operations and Land Management Team will again use horsepower to manage the woodland under continuous cover forestry.

This method aims to increase the canopy cover of mature native broadleaved trees whilst gradually reducing the canopy of conifer trees.

As a Planted Ancient Woodland Sites, this work will help to restore and improve its ecological potential.

Coal mining

NRW is using horses because the woods are situated in the middle of a former coal mining area and the surrounding landscape is unsuitable for heavy machinery and modern-day forestry operations.

Precision felling and timber extraction is also required to avoid damaging the surrounding broad leave trees and other important archaeological features.

Chris Rees, Forest Operations Team Leader South Wales Central at Natural Resources Wales said: “This ancient art of horse logging is a viable and sustainable option in modern day forestry operations. Working horses are ideally suited to environmentally sensitive areas where mechanical extraction is not possible.

“They are a low impact and sympathetic tool particularly when it comes to the management of ancient woodlands and archeologically important sites’’

“As a team we are very much looking forward to delivering this exciting project and to be part of this wonderful opportunity to experience a horse’s traditional role on the land.”

Horses, horse boxes, welfare provisions and associated equipment will be kept on site for the duration of the operation.

While the car park will remain open, visitors to the woodland are being asked to adhere to any prohibition signs in and around the site while work is ongoing.

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G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
1 year ago

A fantastic opportunity to train people in a wide range of skills and exploring new opportunities going forward

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

Two horses do not make a green revolution, horses are being worked all over Wales. This sounds like a Lee Waters Production to me…

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