Modern machinery is being ditched in favour of pony power, in an operation to remove dead and diseased oak trees from the Warndon Woods in Worcestershire.
Two cob-type ponies from local firm Crunchies Cobs will be used to pull the felled trees out of the woodland, in place of a tractor.
Another local firm, Worcester Coppice Crafts, will be masterminding the operation on behalf of Worcester City Council.
The trees which are being removed have suffered from acute oak decline – a disease which can affect native oak trees which are at least 50 years old.
“This ancient woodland has a wonderful display of bluebells in the spring, and we are removing the diseased oak trees to ensure there is more space for these flowers and also hazel trees to colonise and grow,” explains Warwick Neale, Community Engagement Manager at Worcester City Council.
“We have opted for pony power instead of a tractor to remove the trees, so that there is less impact on the forest floor.”