Photo: statue in Rydal Hall grounds.

More horsepower at Rydal Hall

More horsepower at Rydal Hall

29th April 2017

Rydal Hall is using traditional methods to restore a natural woodland on their 34 acre estate. The woods were previously a plantation to provide fuel and building materials for the 17th Century hall.

The first step is to open up the thick canopy to allow light to penetrate to the ground by removing the non-native trees, but in a dense wood, timber extraction is difficult. Turning away from vehicles and machinery, Rydal Hall engaged Dan Sumner, a local tree logger to use Cubb horses to drag the felled trees. Cubbs are similar to Shire horses but smaller. This ancient method will help support the red squirrel population and wildlife. Apart from being quieter and pollution free, the use of horses breaks up the ground allowing native grasses and plants to establish themselves, creating a woodland scrub layer and create small glades. Some of the wood will be used as fuel and the rest is being carefully stacked to provide wildlife habitats.

The project will be carried out over several years, by eco-foresters, the Rydal Hall estate team and volunteers. Local schools are being encouraged to use the Rydal woods as an educational resource. All of Rydal Hall’s woodland and gardens are open to the public and the estate is designated as a Special Conservation Area in the Lake District National Park.

Further Information: Contact Estate Manager, Martin Scrowston on estates@rydalhall.org or telephone 015394 32050.

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