Research conducted by Coford and Waterford Institute of Technology found that 'horse logging is suitable on smaller sites or where woodlands were sensitively managed'
To read the full report 'Hardwood fuel from our new forests' by Tom Kent and Seamus Dunne type Bioenergy News 2008 into the search box at www.seai.ie/Renewables
A good example of a sensitively managed woodland was Meikle Wood in Threaves Estate in Scotland where I worked fellow logger Jim Johnstone's Brabant (above) a larger breed of Belgium heavy horse alongside my own Mountain Ardennes (below)
The National Trust for Scotland had decided on horse power for timber extraction because this system would not only ensure the health of the standing trees but also mean the least disturbance to wildlife, their habitats and ancient earthworks within the wood.
With Threaves Castle in the distance another advantage of horse powered timber extraction is evident- the minimal impact of hooves on wet ground.
For a full account of why this system was chosen for this sensitive woodland click www.nts.org.uk and then go into News, then Press Archive, then 2008 to read 'Horsepower harnessed for Trust tree-felling' 22/09/08
Photos: Karl Munday, Senior Ranger, National Trust for Scotland