VIDEO: ‘Bracken Bruising’ Underway In Hastings Country Park

Bracken bruising is now underway in Hastings Country Park, as Hastings Borough Council uses heavy forestry horses to help manage the threatened habitat and declining wildlife at the nature reserve.

Frankie Woodgate and her forestry horses, 13 year old ‘Yser’ and 9 year old ‘Tobias’ are working in Warren Glen. They spend most of the year extracting timber from woods around Sussex and Kent but spend the summer rolling bracken.

Photo shows Frankie bruising the bracken with her horses in Hastings Country Park. Photo by Kevin Boorman. SUS-150207-064748001

Photo shows Frankie bruising the bracken with her horses in Hastings Country Park. Photo by Kevin Boorman. SUS-150207-064748001

Council spokesman Kevin Boorman explained: “Using working horses to pull heavy rollers to ‘bash’ and ‘bruise’ the bracken is an effective, traditional and low impact way of reducing the growth of bracken in hard to reach areas and avoids the use of chemicals.

“It is a tremendous sight to see. I’ve been going to this area for over 50 years but have never seen anything like this before, it was great to see these heavy forestry horses under the careful supervision of Frankie.

“Because of the heat this week, which reached over 30C during the afternoons, they have been starting work around 0500, so that they can avoid the higher temperatures later in the day.

“We also have the Exmoor ponies in the same area and have just taken delivery of some rare breed British White cattle to help with our management of the area. There has never been a better time to visit our Country Park, I was there before 7 o’clock this morning to see the working horses, and it was just stunning.”

Photo by Kevin Boorman SUS-150207-064759001

Photo by Kevin Boorman SUS-150207-064759001

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Photo by Kevin Boorman SUS-150207-064810001

Photo by Kevin Boorman SUS-150207-064810001

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Photo by Kevin Boorman SUS-150207-064724001

Photo by Kevin Boorman SUS-150207-064724001