Chichester man uses horse-drawn plough in attempt to furrow 12 acres the old-fashioned way

ITV News Meridian's James Dunham reports on Andy Robinson's 12 acre ploughing challenge

There's not a tractor in sight at the Weald & Downland Living Museum in Chichester, where Andy Robinson is more than half-way through a gruelling test of endurance.

The centre's agricultural expert is ploughing a 12-acre field using his three percheron horses Ollie, Leon and Kash to help share the load.

It's a tough task, with freezing temperatures and the long, seven-hours days of physical labour.

The traditional technique was used as recently as the 1950s, and Andy is keen to explore the conditions of farmers decades ago.

Andy admits he'll be glad when the challenge is over Credit: ITV News Meridian

Asked why he wanted to do it, Andy jokingly says, "because I'm an idiot" and admits he's looking forward to when the challenge finishes.

"It's just a challenge to see if the horses and I could do it. You know, we've got to plow all this ground anyway, but it was to try and make it as close to reality as it would have been for the old boys.

"We're a museum and we're trying to learn all the time. And so putting ourselves in the horses through something like this makes what we're trying to do here very real.

Before Andy gets onto the field his day begins at six o'clock in the morning to feed and groom the horses ready for a hard day's work.

Once ready, Andy and the horses then moves back and forth furrowing the field.

Leon, Ollie and Kash thrive off physical work like this Credit: ITV News

The environment is something Ollie, Leon and Kash enjoy and they are built for physical farming activities to keep them fit, strong and healthy.

William Tyler who was visiting the museum and enjoyed seeing Andy's back to basic approach to agriculture.

"It's fantastic to see them. We've seen the horses in the stables. I've not seen them working before. It's fantastic, actually.

"The horses obviously enjoy this. It brings the whole experience to life."

Andy would like to as many people as possible to come the museum to look at his hands on approach to farming and hopes visitors will appreciate how life was quite a challenge before modern technology.

"People have got this really romantic idea of the past but in fact, the past was hard work from the second you woke up to the second you went to bed.

"If people can come and see that will enrich people's experience of what the average Joe had to live like each day and watching me and the horses sweat all day. If it helps them get there, then I think it's time well spent.