British Horse Loggers BHL
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Welcome to our website

We are an independent group formed to represent those either working horses in forestry or anyone interested in the art of horse logging and supporting the skill. The British Horse Loggers is also the only national body representing those working in the industry.

Our aim is to promote horse logging as a viable and sustainable option within modern forestry, showcasing the benefits to both our woodlands and our horses. We are also continuing to use a traditional and important skill.

Horse logging offers an efficient flexible approach to timber extraction with a wide range of both traditional and modern equipment available. The horses can work through the full range of woodland operations from first thinnings through to extracting the final crop. They are a low impact and sympathetic tool particularly when it comes to the management of ancient woodland and archaeologically important sites.

Working horses are ideally suited to steep sites, wet sites and environmentally sensitive areas where mechanical extraction is either not welcome or cannot access without excessive damage. Horse logging can work efficiently alongside a tractor operation if necessary. The use of horses can minimise damage to existing crops, coppiced stools and areas of regeneration. They also have the option to work in small areas where felling to provide an extraction route can be kept to a minimum. It also reduces compaction and damage to the woodland floor whilst giving no pollution from fossil fuels.

We offer practical support in many forms both to members already working horses in woodland environments and to those wishing to begin. We hope that this also offers opportunities to non-working members who seek us out purely for the pleasure of seeing the horses worked as they can be and supporting the industry.

As you look through our website you will see that we strive to offer excellent learning opportunities through a variety of courses, an industry based insurance scheme for working members and a market place for the buying and selling of horses and related items. We also try to organise progress events around the country giving opportunities to all to visit woodlands being worked with horses. With all of these benefits we hope to encourage more of you to join us and support the use of horses in forestry which could either be your own or those belonging to others.

For those of you seeking this website to find a horse logging contractor we have both a Professional Register which offers a list of approved working members and a list offering the details of other working members.


Corporate Members:

bhl news
Bare Foot Trimming Training
We will be running a Bare Foot Trimming Course in on 6/7 June.  More details can be found HERE
Woodland Management Award
Congratulations to the winner of this round of the Woodland Management Award in 2015.  George Newton was given the award for his work at Coniston Water. No places were awarded to the other contestants as the judges found them too difficult to separate.  Full details can be found HERE

AGM in 2015
Our next AGM and annual competition will be hosted by Chris Wadsworth near Scarborough on 16th and 17th May 2015.  Formal Notice and More details can be found by clicking HERE
Progress Event - 25th July 2015
George Read will be hosting a progress event in July.  Full details can be found HERE.
Addition to Machinery Pool
The British Horse Loggers Charitable Trust has acquired an 8 wheel Österby Smedja SV4 for the machinery pool and this is now available for members to hire.  Currently based in the North-West, and more details can be found on the Charitable Trust Website HERE
Website Upgrades - 2015
It is taking rather longer to create the new "Members Area" then we hoped, but progress is being made.  When finished we are hoping to post lots of interesting content for use by members.  Log-in details will be sent out to members in due course.
Courses for 2015
We are currently exploring training opportunities for 2015 that could be of interest to anyone who works or wishes to work with horses. We are looking at offering a Bare foot trimming event, a weekend of Natural Horsemanship and possibly a guide to the skills required to running a small business successfully.  We may also run an Emergency First Aid at work day and will explore the possibilities of running again the 4 day Woodland Management training.  Details will be posted in the Members Area and the Become a Horse Logger page in due course.

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