Horses are used in West Sussex woodland scheme

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HEAVY horses have been used to help spruce up a patch of ancient woodland.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy drafted in the heavy horses to drag oak logs out of woodland at Salterns Copse, an eight-acre woodland on the shoreline of Chichester Harbour at Apuldram.

The copse is the largest patch of ancient woodland remaining on the Manhood Peninsula.

To enhance the wildflowers and habitat, sections of the woodland were in need of thinning out.

As it is an environmentally-sensitive area it was decided to bring in heavy horses rather than use heavy machinery.

Ed Rowsell, conservation officer for Chichester Harbour Conservancy, said: ‘It was a pleasure to watch the horses at work. With just a few commands, they knew exactly what was required of them. We have thinned out the woodland to help the hazel coppice, wildflowers and associated wildlife to flourish. The timber will be used to complete the fencing that was started last year.’

He added: ‘Using the horses is a low impact alternative to using tractors or machinery.

‘The horses cause minimal damage and of course there is no noise or fuel pollution.’