Heavy horse does the heavy lifting for conservation

Roy, a heavy horse from Hawthorn Heavy Horses has been helping Essex Wildlife Trust’s ranger and volunteers with vital habitat management and conservation work at their Willow Park in Langdon nature reserve.

Heavy horses are a traditional method of habitat management that reduces pollution and risk of ground damage. Langdon Ridge has recently been allocated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), so it is essential to carry out careful management across these ecologically sensitive sites. The Langdon nature reserve is the largest inland reserve managed by Essex Wildlife Trust. The reserve is a spectacular site for flora and fauna, rich with foraging mammals; nesting birds; 30 butterfly species including Grizzled Skipper, Marbled White, Green Hairstreak and over 350 flowering plant types.

Volunteers and staff at Essex Wildlife Trust spent three days with Roy, a rare-breed Suffolk Punch, extracting timber that was felled during the winter as part of the conservation management plan for the nature reserve.