The vital role that horses play as a method of timber extraction
is now recognised within the woodland and forestry sector.
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.
Traction is 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,
we offer a range of services from felling and extraction to management planning,
grant applications and habitat creation, restoration and management.
Natural Traction team offer a professional,
efficient and versatile timber
woodland management service.
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
As with mechanised
systems, horse drawn
extraction outputs are reliant upon a number of important
> access to timber
> extraction distance
> presentation of felled timber
> product type
the above factors single horse drawn extraction output can vary between 7 and
20 tonnes per day.
Late in 2005, Frankie applied
for a grant to expand the business from the Forestry Commission's 'Woodland Harvesting,
Processing and Marketing Grant' Pilot Project. The grant contributed 30% of the
capital invested, allowing her to purchase a second horse, a horse-drawn forwarder
and a horse lorry for transport.
You can find
out more about Frankie's project on the following 'Woodlots' page: Frankie
An evaluation of the WHMPG
pilot scheme can be found here
on the Forestry Commission's website
Using tractors and sprays to
eradicate bracken is expensive and undesirable on many sites
horse drawn bracken bruiser crushes the stem of the plant in several places and
causes the sap to bleed. This desiccates the plant and weakens its ability to
store nutrients for the next year's development.
carried out after the growing season from the end of June to August, and has many
advantages such as:
the plant far more than cutting
> is chemical
> breaks up the deep litter layer, speeding
> is not dependent on weather conditions
> is particularly cost effective on rough, sensitive
or inaccessible sites ·
Studies have shown that regrowth
is limited by 50-90%, although this varies according to site conditions. A three
to five year bruising regime may be required for total elimination on bracken
covered sites. One to two hectares (2.5 5 acres) can be managed in one
We can also offer
a consultancy and management service. Whether youre a new or experienced
landowner we can visit and work with you to identify and achieve sound management
objectives for your farm, woodland or amenity site.
For more information
Telephone: 01233 850860
Mobile: 07929 202 963
Traction has received grant aid from
If you are interested in learning to work with heavy horses,
we can tailor courses to suit your needs and experience.
introductory sessions to five-day courses in ‘Working Horses in Woodlands’, we
offer training events in our own ancient semi natural Woodland or can provide
similar courses on your own land.
|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. |
for Natural Traction are available from private landowners, the Forestry
Commission, the National
Trust and the
insured and NPTC chainsaw certificated
Member of the British
Horse Loggers (BHL)