Traditional horse logging comes to Oxfordshire
Ash dieback remains a priority in the South East, and we’re currently extracting approximately 40 tonnes of infected ash from North Grove Wood in Oxfordshire using traditional horse logging methods.
North Grove Wood contains quite a few narrow slopes, making access difficult for timber extraction and haulage. The underlying clay soils mean the paths are wet and muddy a great deal of the time! Working with the horses is a great solution, as they’re nimble and can manoeuvre around the mature hazel coppice stools mixed in with the ash, which machinery wouldn’t have been able to avoid. As our contractor uses his horses for extracting coppiced hazel, it made sense to use the approach for the ash trees.
The ash will be used in the local firewood industry, and the coppiced hazel makes excellent hedge-laying stakes and broom handles.
Hattie, Hank and Twiggy are proving a big hit with regular walkers through this small, quiet wood just north of Reading in the Chilterns AONB! Well done to Kate Harvey, site manager, for overseeing this unusual work in our woods.
Words – Grace Davis, Engagement and Communications Officer (SE)
Pics – Kate Harvey Site Manager (SE)