Once again visitors to the Kent County Show will be able to see working horses in Murrain Wood. These magnificent working horses are testament to the traditional way we used to manage our woodland and forest areas. Whilst mechanisation has transformed the way we manage our wooded areas, there is still merit in using horse-power. Natural Traction will have a team of horses doing demonstrations on all three days.
Natural Traction is run by Frankie Woodgate who has a BSc in Countryside Management and spent a number of years researching the role of horses in UK and European forestry. With a longstanding practical background in woodland management and working horses in forestry and woodlands, Frankie manages her own ancient semi natural woodland (ASNW) with horses and has written a number of articles on horses in forestry.
The vital role that horses play as a method of timber extraction is now recognised within the woodland and forestry sector. An environmentally sensitive management technique, horse drawn timber extraction offers the woodland manager and owner a viable low-impact alternative in situations where the use of machines may either be inappropriate or uneconomic.
Natural Traction is part of ‘Sylvan Environmental Enterprises Ltd’, a company dedicated to the goal of sustainable land use. With many years practical and research experience in the field of sustainable woodland and countryside management, they offer a range of services from felling and extraction to management planning, grant applications and habitat creation, restoration and management. When you visit Murrain Wood at the Show the team will explain the merits of using these horses and how it benefits our natural environment.
Horses provide a means of timber extraction that minimises: damage to regeneration, damage to stools and standing crop, compaction, ruts & damage to woodland floor, noise and fuel pollution, and fossil fuel use.