Helpful Suffolk Punch horses do their bit to care for Thaxted’s waterways

PUBLISHED: 09:44 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:48 22 March 2017

A leaky dam in Thaxted. (from left) Matt Waller with Roy the Suffolk Punch Heavy Horse, Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council cabinet member for environment, Cllr Terry Frostick, chairman Thaxted Parish Council and Cllr Susan Barker, deputy leader Uttlesford District Council and ECC member. Photo: CLARE BANKS

A leaky dam in Thaxted. (from left) Matt Waller with Roy the Suffolk Punch Heavy Horse, Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council cabinet member for environment, Cllr Terry Frostick, chairman Thaxted Parish Council and Cllr Susan Barker, deputy leader Uttlesford District Council and ECC member. Photo: CLARE BANKS

CLARE BANKS

Suffolk Punch horses have been doing their bit to help keep Thaxted’s waterways in order as they towed logs into place as part of a new environmental project in the town.

A leaky dam in Thaxted. Photo: CLARE BANKSA leaky dam in Thaxted. Photo: CLARE BANKS

Phase two of the project was put into action this week (Tuesday, March 21) as the horse, called Roy, helped haul sustainably-felled trees into position to create leaky dams to reduce the risk of surface water flooding to a number of local properties while improving wildlife habitats.

Felled trees and other woody debris were pinned into the river bank allowing water to flow freely when levels are normal and, in times of flooding, reducing pressure on the dam by still allowing water through.

Matt Butcher, catchment manager (Essex) for the Environment Agency, said: “Employing heavy horses rather than machinery to move the timber into place is an excellent way to reduce the environmental impact of the work and preserve a great tradition.”

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