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It's neigh problem for horses

All things equine are being celebrated when the Borders Festival of the Horse gets underway this week, and one of the attractions is going to be workhorses.

Horse logging has been making a resurgence across Cumbria and southern Scotland and the Forestry Commission is hoping that seeing it in action might encourage woodland owners to take up the reins too.

Hannah McNulty reports:

A bid to swap horse power for horse power

It's claimed traditional methods can be better for the environment Credit: ITV Border

Woodland owners and managers are being urged to take up traditional horse logging.

It was practised for hundreds of years before being replaced by modern technology and equipment.

Cumbria and southern Scotland has seen a resurgence of the traditional method.

Woodland owners, managers and the public are being invited to an open day as part of the Borders Festival of the Horse at Glentress Forest, near Innerleithen, on Saturday 17 May, to see working horses in action.

Iain Laidlaw from the Forestry Commission Scotland says:

_"We are delighted to be working with the horse loggers. The demos are open to all ... to see why modern horse logging is often a viable option for timber harvesting. Rising fuel costs for mechanised harvesting are helping to make bio-fuelled horses even more competitive." _


Campaigners say cutbacks would damage tourism

Jack Ellerby, Friends of the Lake District Credit: ITV Border

Plans to cut spending on Britain's forests by more than a third could have a serious impact on this region according to campaigners.

In an open letter to the government department DEFRA, the Forest Campaigns Network say that cutbacks would damage the tourism industry and lead to the closure of popular local tourist attractions and car parks:

Jack ellerby, friends of the Lake District:

"The government's own figures show that public forests are worth 400 million a year to this country. They bring tourism, work to raise air quality and provide timber.

"If they are not managed and resourced properly those benefits would be lost."