0 Working horses return to Hyde Park


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The last working horses left Hyde Park in the early 1950s. Following the successful introduction of a team of working Shire Horses to Richmond Park in 1993, The Royal Parks have been looking at ways of increasing their use.

"This is the next stage in gauging the effectiveness of working horses in maintaining and improving our parks," said Mike Fitt, Director of Parks. "They won't necessarily replace our tractors and mowers, but they can do things that vehicles can't and can do it quietly too. More importantly they're sympathetic to the kind of atmosphere we want to create in The Royal Parks. The two-week programme enabled us see how our infrastructure coped with the demands of working horses, but it also provided local school children and the public with a chance to learn about how things were done before the advent of the internal combustion engine."Heavy Horse 8.jpg

A range of Ransomes vintage mowers were supplied by the Hall & Duck Trust and the event was supported by Ransomes Jacobsen, Rigby Taylor, Service Team, Carillion, Cripsin Borst, Fuller's Brewery, Young's Brewery, Bracknell Forest Borough Council, Banham Zoo, Capel Manor College, who provided horses, equipment, staff or financial support.

Related activities included cart trips for the public, a farrier demonstrating his craft of shoeing horses, bio-diversity walks through Hyde Park's meadows and a 'gentle' face-off between the latest environmentally friendly mower, the Ransomes Highway LPG and the type of traditional horse-drawn mowers that worked in Hyde Park until World War Two.

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