Horses help protect the hill fort

horse logging at killerton on the clump near exeter

Traditional horse-logging was used to remove timber from the Clump as part of our efforts to protect the Iron Age hill fort.

The Clump at Killerton is home to an Iron Age hill fort which is protected as a Scheduled Monument. Recent conservation work as part of the Bringing Killerton Park to life project has removed the hill fort from the Heritage at Risk register. The important forestry work had left several timber stacks in the area that couldn't be reached by modern machines, due to the sensitive earthworks of the hill fort and the steep slopes on the Clump.

Over winter 2016, heavy horses were brought in to remove the timber using traditional horse-logging methods. Beano and William were here for a week, and proved very popular with visitors as they showed off for the crowds at an open day on Saturday 5 November; we hope to use the horses again in the future.

The gradual selective thinning of trees from hill fort over the next 10 years will allow the remaining trees more space grow stronger and sturdier foundations, provide better habitats and increased their longevity. This is turn will also reduce the risk of trees uprooting and protect the important archaeology of the site. The decision making process we use for felling trees from the fort is based on habitat value, potential damage, overcrowding and public safety.

Video

Horse logging at Killerton

Watch William removing timber from the Clump to help our efforts to protect the Iron Age hill fort.

Foresters preparing timber for the horses to move.
horse logging Clump killerton autumn rangers
Foresters preparing timber for the horses to move.
Beano using all his strength to move a felled tree.
Horse logging on the Killerton estate
Beano using all his strength to move a felled tree.
Horses can remove timber from places too sensitive for heavy machinery.
Horse logging helps conservation work on the Clump at Killerton
Horses can remove timber from places too sensitive for heavy machinery.