Equine power helps restoration of West Sussex woodland

Headteacher  Colin Rainford and pupils celebrate a good Ofsted report at Hayling College     Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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ANCIENT woodland is being restored thanks to two hard-working heavy horses.

Tobias and Yser, and their owner Frankie Woodgate, have been helping to improve Duncton Hanger, near Chichester and within the South Downs National Park.

The horses have been helping to clear a 1960s plantation of western red cedar trees.

This will allow native English woodland to return.

Graham West, a ranger for the National Park, said: ‘Clearing a plantation in the middle of an area recognised internationally for the importance of its wildlife is a big challenge.

‘Not only is the land very sensitive but it’s also on a 45 degree slope, so machines just weren’t an option. Using heavy horses means that we can get right up into the plantation with very little impact on the rest of the site.

‘In fact having Tobias and Yser’s big hooves scarifying the ground under the plantation will actually help our native trees return sooner.’