Beautiful photographs of horse loggers trudging through snow at Balmoral to avoid machines damaging picturesque grounds
Simon Lenihan was pictured removing the trees in Crathie, AberdeenshireHorses used in place of large timber machines to minimise soil damagePhotographer Jeff Mitchell: 'It's one of the most beautiful places in the UK'
21:37 GMT, 12 December 2012
It was a picturesque scene that could easily grace the cover of a Christmas card, as a full-time commercial horse logger was photographed removing Scots Pine trees from in the snow.
Simon Lenihan was pictured removing the trees in Crathie, Aberdeenshire, from the Balmoral Estate yesterday with Belgian Ardennes horses Sultan De Le Campagne, 15, and Salome Du Pre Renier, 4.
The beautiful horses working at the royal residence
of Balmoral at this time of year were being used in place of large timber machines to
minimise any damage to vegetation, soils and water-tables.
Traditional values: Simon Lenihan, a full time commercial horse logger, removes a Scots Pine tree from the Balmoral Estate with Sultan De Le Campagne, a 15-year-old Belgian Aldennes horse
Beautiful scene: Simon Lenihan uses Salome Du Pre Renier, a 4-year-old Belgian Ardennes horse, to remove another Scots Pine tree from the estate
Tough work: Simon Lenihan removes a Scots Pine tree from the Balmoral Estate with Sultan De Le Campagne, a 15-year-old Belgian Ardennes horse
Traditional trade: The Prince of Wales is the Patron of The British Horse Loggers, an association that works to promote horse logging and support professional horse loggers
The Prince of Wales is the Patron of the
British Horse Loggers, an association that works to promote horse
logging and support professional horse loggers.
Mr Lenihan, who lives in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, was working in temperatures of -4C (25F) yesterday with his son Ian in front of photographer Jeff Mitchell.
Mr Mitchell, 42, of Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, told MailOnline: ‘They take the horses instead of using heavy machinery which causes quite a lot of damage to the ground.
Teamwork: Simon Lenihan and his son Ian, full time commercial horse loggers, remove a Scots Pine tree
Old-fashioned ways: The horses working at Balmoral are being used in place of large timber machines
Carefully does it: The purpose is to minimise any damage to vegetation, soils and water-tables
Together: Simon Lenihan removes a Scots Pine tree from the Balmoral Estate with Sultan De Le Campagne
‘I think those guys must have been working in temperatures of -4c. There’s a bit of frost on the ground, but those guys start around 5:30am and go and warm the horses up on a two-mile walk.
‘That gets the muscles and the blood going through the horses. They’re going back to the methods people were using 100 years ago. The neck harness is made by the Amish in the US.’
He added: ‘They've been up there for about 12 weeks. It's gorgeous, that whole area is just beautiful. You can see why the royal family go there. I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the UK.’
Going for cold: The team was working on the estate in Crathie, Aberdeenshire, in temperatures of -4C
Horse play: There are successful horse logging contractors working throughout Scotland, England and Wales
The British Horse Loggers offers demonstrations, training, professional development and works to advertise and promote horse logging
The British Horse Loggers's website describes horse logging as 'the extraction of timber using horses as 'base machine' with a wide range of traditional and modern implements'.
It continues: 'Horse loggers work through the whole range of timber produced in British woodlands; from small coppice poles and firewood, through thinnings in soft and hard woods up to final crop – large saw logs in soft and hard woods.'
The organisation offers demonstrations, training, professional development and works to advertise and promote horse logging.
Sultan De Le Campagne drags along a Scots pine trunk, while Simon Lenihan follows on
The Lenihans were working today in sub-zero temperatures. They first take the horse for a two-mile walk to warm them up
Purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848, the Balmoral Estate has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family ever since.
The estate covers about 20,000 hectares (just over 50,000 acres) of heather-clad hills and ancient Caledonian woodland.
Over the past 150 years, careful stewardship by the Royal Family has preserved its wildlife, scenery and architecture.