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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 16:16 GMT
Pulling power makes horse sense
Dandy the Clydesdale
Dandy the Clydesdale: Where he belongs
Clydesdale horses have taken the place of heavy machinery in a return to their traditional role in forestry.

The horses are being used to pull felled trees from the steep gorges of the Clyde Valley.

The move is aimed at creating a woodland-friendly way of removing the trees.

The Clyde Valley Woodlands Life project and the Scottish Wildlife Trust have employed Ponfeigh Horse Loggers to remove felled trees from Nethan Gorge.

The gorge is listed as a special area of conservation - the European Union's highest nature conservation designation.

Tim Gordon-Roberts, project manager for the Clyde Valley Woodlands Life project, said using traditional methods made perfect sense.

'Minimal damage'

Mr Gordon-Roberts said: "Once we've cut down the non-native trees, we have to get them out of the woodland without damaging the young saplings and the rare and sensitive plants that grow there.

"That's where the Ponfeigh Horse Loggers come in - David and Graham cut the trees down and Dandy the Clydesdale pulls them out, carefully picking his way through the woodland to minimise the damage caused to the plants."

Dandy is a seven-year-old Clydesdale-Shire cross and is 15.3 hands in height.

David Coats, of Ponfeigh Horse Loggers, said: "Dandy and I make a great team. He works hard and took to the work instantly - it's good to see him working in the Clyde Valley where he belongs."

BBC Scotland's Jane Chilton
"The old ways are most definitely the best"

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