Learn about the secrets of healthy soil with working horses Polly and Beano

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Friday 3rd June 2022 10:00 am
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Working horses mow the grass at Common Flora (. )

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Learn about the secrets of healthy soil with working horses Polly and Beano at a special event being held at a local organic agroforestry social enterprise site.

Jane Acton of Common Flora near Diptford is inviting people to see the Dartmoor draft horses in action on Saturday June 18, when the horses will cut the grass without heavy machinery to reduce the impact on soil.

This old method of grass cutting helps aerate the soil which in turns encourages micro-organisms and locks in carbon.

Ethnobotanist Jane said: “When our soils are teeming with life and stay covered much of the time the nutrients stay in the soil and can be accessed more easily by growing plants, like the food we eat. This then makes our food taste better.

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Jane Acton (. )

“These methods also help to reduce flooding.

“There is plenty of evidence to show these old practises are highly productive allowing us to grow more food thus securing more jobs and supporting rural economies.”

The service run by Dartmoor Horse Loggers is available to other landowners thinking of using this method.

Jane added: “We have seen really healthy growth using these types of methods in order to grow to supply local consumers.

“Working with Will from Dartmoor Horse Loggers and his beautiful animals, we will be hiring out our mower to other landowners looking to maintain and improve their soil quality in this way.

“It would be wonderful to meet people who might remember horses on their farms.”

Polly and Beano will be working on the site between 11am and 2pm and visitors will be able to stroke the horses and find out more about soil health and quality.

The event includes a collection for farmers wellbeing charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

Places are free but must be booked at www.commonflora.co.uk/theoffer/low-impact-grass-cutting-event

Priority will be given for people living in the neighbouring parishes of Diptford, Harberton, Harbertonford and South Brent.

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