As humankind seeks to shrink its carbon footprint and lessen its damage to the environment, some organizations have turned to horses to replace machines in certain sectors. One such instance is in south Wales, where the department Natural Resources Wales has chosen to use horse logging to clear infected trees.

“Horse logging has been around for thousands of years and is still a viable and sustainable method of extracting timber in modern day forest operations,” says Chris Rees, Forest Operations Team Leader for Natural Resources Wales.

The horsepower will be put to use pulling down trees that are infected with larch disease from sensitive forests in Fforest Fawr near Tongwynlais on the outskirts of Cardiff. “Using horses rather than machines in environmentally sensitive areas gives us a low impact and sympathetic solution, particularly for managing important ancient woodlands and archeologic sites,” adds Rees.

Horses were used in another part of Wales last year with great success and Natural Resources Wales are committed to keeping the tradition alive in 2024. The park remains open to the public, but visitors are cautioned to keep dogs on a leash and to be aware that horses will be on the property for the three months it’s estimated to take for the job to be completed.