In this series of articles, we will be sharing exclusive coverage from all aspects of APF 2022. 

FOR those looking for a quieter, more traditional way of doing forestry, then look no further than the British Horse Loggers. A central attraction of the woodland demo area, they used APF as a chance to show audiences (both old and new) what the horses could do – and that’s a lot more than some might think. 

“There is definitely a place for working horses in forestry,” said Kate Mobbs-Morgan, of Rowan Working Horses. “Horses can go into woodlands where big machines can’t, access difficult-to-reach sites, and where they want a low-impact option. 

Forestry Journal: APF was the perfect chance to speak to people about horse logging APF was the perfect chance to speak to people about horse logging (Image: FJ)

“My business has been running for about 14 years, and it has gotten busier and busier. There’s a lot more interest in people using horses for woodland management.” 

On the stand, horses, including Frank, moved timber, while BHL officials talked visitors through the process, with many seeing it in action for the first time. 

Clients of Kate’s include the Woodland Trust, local authorities, and estates, with interest growing as concern for the environment does with it. 

"I feel it is improving," said Kate, when asked about the current state of the horse logging industry. "It is strengthening. There is a lot more interest, and a lot more people interested in coming into the trade. We run an apprenticeship scheme through British Horse Loggers, and there are a lot of people wanting to start to do that. 

"Through the pandemic, people have been looking at different ways of working and a lot of people want to be more in touch with the environment. 

Forestry Journal: Catching up with the horse loggers. Catching up with the horse loggers. (Image: FJ)

"You have a lot of foresters coming through here, and they can be scathing. Which is why we want to keep the horses moving, and on decent timber. 

"We are judged against the big machines. We can't bring out the tonnage every day. But if you only turn a handful of people every day, then you've succeeded."

Keep an eye across our channels for a full version of this interview