horse power


The last two weekends have seen us attending events organised by Shropshire Wildlife Trust, both on cold, wintry days. It is good to leave the old homestead from time to time to do something different, and we particularly chose to live in this part of the country because the walking is excellent and the landscape varied and interesting,

Last Sunday we spent a couple of hours on Stiperstones, a high ridge in South Shropshire, learning about the geology of that upland peak, and huddling from the biting wind. One of our expert guides from the Trust was a mine of information about the formation of the landscape and the way people have shaped the landscape since Roman times, and our other guide was a naturalist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the wildlife of the area.

Yesterday, wet and foggy as it was, we spent several hours watching a man, an apprentice and horse working in Clunton Coppice, removing cut oak logs, and learning about the mammals that live in the woods. The use of horses on steep hillsides is an efficient way of removing timber from slopes that are too steep or too sensitive for  machinery. This horse, Elza, was a very willing animal and very experienced. I am a real soft touch for horses so spent ages watching how she was voice trained to commands and how effortlessly she pulled oak trees along the path. I made a video, but alas WordPress doesn’t support video unless I buy the upgrade, so it is posted on my Facebook  page, should you like to see a very happy working horse. I hope the link works.

As for today, it has been snow,sun,snow,wind,snow,sun,wind,snow…..more like January! But at least the mist has lifted! Hope you have a good week.