Teams of heavy horses cleared woodland around Wellington Monument over the weekend.
At the top of the picturesque Blackdown Hills and in bright winter sunshine, the horses were visible evidence of a collaboration between the National Trust, wood fuel cooperative Culmwoods and two heavy horse owners from Wiltshire and North Wales who provide forestry services.
Affiliated to the Blackdown and East Devon Woodland Association, Culmwoods brings together people who extract wood for fuel from woodland that would otherwise be expensive to manage. Members of the group have access to woodfuel in exchange for work. None of it is sold.
The National Trust which owns the land around The Monument is in the process of clearing some of the woodland to improve views across the Vale of Taunton and to the Quantocks and Brendons. This weekend Culmwoods’ members were cutting down timber approved for extraction by the National Trust but, because of the slope of the site, needed heavy horses to remove it. The National Trust contracted Rowan Working Horses and Swainsford Heavy Horses to haul the logs up the slope.
Kate Mobbs-Morgan of Rowan Working Horses said, “This is a collaboration which works well for everyone. It also allows people to see the work these horses do.”
Further work on the woodland at The Monument will be carried out next year.