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Genuine horse power!

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EDF Energy Networks has invested in genuine horse power to help clear trees from a site where overhead electricity lines are to be refurbished.

The energy firm is to carry out an essential £750,000 project to increase the capacity of the 33,000-volt power lines which supply power to thousands of customers in the Ipswich area, to cater for future demand.

The overhead lines run above Sandpit Covert and Braky Wood County Wildlife Site near the village of Wherstead. The route also crosses an electrified, main line railway so some trees had to be removed to enable scaffolding and netting to be erected for safety reasons while the work is carried out from September to November.

EDF Energy Networks is working in association with the local authorities and the Greenways Countryside Project to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. On their suggestion the company employed specialist Suffolk firm, Green Man Horse Loggers, to remove the felled trees from the hillside site.

Moonie, a 13-year-old cob, removed up to 25 tonnes of timber on Thursday and Friday of last week. With his handlers using a Norwegian timber arch and tail end bogie to support the timber, he easily moved up to half a tonne at a time.

The sweet chestnut timber will hopefully be used by the Greenways Countryside Project to make boardwalks, steps, fencing and benches throughout the nearby Belstead Brook Park.

EDF Energy Networks project manager Chris Ling said: "We are increasing the capacity of the overhead power line to help ensure the best level of service for our customers in the area in the future. Although it is not possible to use horses on all such sites, this traditional method proved to be the best, practical solution in this case."

The company says horse logging complements its commitment to conducting all its business in the most sustainable way.

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