After a full week of hauling heavy logs, Beano was back at work on Friday with Will and Alex from Dartmoor Horse Loggers. This time he was using the timber arch, a specialised wheeled rig, pulling full length Douglas fir logs from beside the river to the stacking area next to the track.
On one of the first frosty mornings of the winter the log pile grew. While Beano took a break, Will and Alex graded the timber into material for fencing stakes, posts and wood chip for boilers. By the end of the week it is likely that there will be more than 15 cubic metres (10 tonnes) of timber to be extracted from the woods by lorry.
The production of timber is not the main objective of this work. The mixed woodland area around the weir is one of the sensitive wildlife habitat that needs to be managed with care, and horse logging is a good method to minimise damage to the soil and wildflowers. Beano also hauls the logs by the shortest practical route to further reduce the impact on wildlife. The video shows how the timber arch raises the logs over the brash which protects the soil underneath.
Throughout the week many visitors and walkers have stopped by to see Beano and to chat to Will and Alex. Dave Rickwood of the Woodland Trust has been pleased with the way the work has gone this week and said “it’s been an excellent opportunity to show people how horse logging can be used in the management of sensitive woodland habitats.”
Saturday will be the last chance to see the horse logging team at work, so why not have a walk in the woods at the weekend? Also look out for the classic cars on the Exeter Trial as they climb the steep tracks of Fingle.
Words and pictures by Matt Parkins