April 17, 2008

Logging demonstrations will feature at the Borders Festival.

Heavy horses in action as part of a commercial timber harvesting operation will feature at the Borders Festival of the Horse next month.

For several years now, Forestry Commission Scotland and Treefest partners have been working with the festival's organisers the British Horse Society Scotland (BHS) to help celebrate everything that makes the Scottish Borders "Scotland's Horse Country".

This year, the Commission's staff are working with British Horse Loggers, Lothian Estates, the Royal Scottish Forestry Society and the BHS (Borders) to lay on a series of horse logging demonstrations near to Jedburgh.

Iain Laidlaw of Forestry Commission Scotland said: "The Treefest Partnership are delighted to be working with a range of partners to lay on demonstrations that will be of interest to many people.

"The demos are not just for the public and I would encourage forest managers and woodland owners to come along and see why modern horse logging is often a viable option for timber harvesting, particularly on sensitive sites."

Kielder Forest based horse logger Danny MacNeil and his team will be working for several weeks in the Lothian Estate Woods near Jedburgh.

The main demonstrations will be on Saturday 17 May (3-6pm) and Tuesday 20 May (2-4pm and 6-8pm).

Ann Fraser of the BHS is delighted that horse logging is going to be part of the 2008 Festival of the Horse. She said: "Few people have seen horse logging in action and it will give them a great chance to see an example of the skill of horses in a real work situation rather than being in recreation or sport."

The rest of the Festival runs from 16 to 26 May and offers 11 days packed with activities and events for both riders and non-riders.