6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Documenting the life of the horse loggers of Bowland

PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 September 2015 | UPDATED: 19:39 18 April 2016

A logger loads up a trailer

A logger loads up a trailer

Photography By Matthew Savage

Young photographer Matthew Savage set up a rainswept shoot of Bowland loggers and their remarkable horses

Steam rises from horses as rain-drenched loggers manhandle trees felled from the Trough of Bowland in scenes that are almost medieval. As photographer Matthew Savage says: ‘This was never going to be a shoot for Vogue magazine.’

Matthew, who has just completed a photographic degree at Blackburn prior to setting up in business, put together this dramatic portfolio after becoming embedded with Lancashire’s forestry workers.

‘It was meant to be a small university project but it grew into something much bigger,’ said 22-year-old Matthew. He spent rain-swept hours recording loggers, tree surgeons and the men building paths and fences in this area of outstanding natural beauty.

The main focus was on the Celtic horse loggers, based in the south Lakes, and contracted for work removing trees on the Bowland estates. ‘They are remarkable animals – the phrase “work horse” was made for them,’ says Matthew, who comes from Accrington.

Matthew Savage Matthew Savage

The horses are a mix of Belgian Ardennes and North Swedish, especially bred for this type of work, which has been championed by the Prince of Wales because it is so environmentally-friendly. The horses are low carbon, they can manoeuvre in tight spaces and they don’t damage the landscape like heavy machinery.

‘While I was there the weather was absolutely horrific,’ says Matthew. ‘The horses look fed up because it was some of the heaviest rain I’d ever been out in, but they are bred for the work. In fact, they start to get restless if they are idle for too long. I was using a brand new camera lens so I was more nervous about being out in those conditions.’

The results were well worth a soaking.

Matthew has been taking pictures since he was a youngster. ‘I was lucky enough to go on foreign holidays as a kid so I was forever taking landscape shots,’ he says. ‘I had ambitions to be a criminal psychologist but when I was looking for an extra A-level subject I chose photography and just fell in love with landscape work.

‘Some people have said I’ll struggle to make a living but I’m optimistic about the future. I’m not just interested in pretty pictures – I like my work to have an editorial edge.’

His pictures of Bowland illustrate the point perfectly. w

To see more of his work go to www.matthewsavagephotography.co.uk or contact Matthew Savage at 07449928249

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Lancashire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Lancashire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Lancashire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ever wondered how Clitheroe Castle got that huge hole in its tower? John Lenehan might have the answer after this walk from Sabden.

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks

Overseas royalty and fashion designers have fallen in love with a not so humble Lancashire horse blanket made on the moors above Darwen.

Read more

While many people head north towards the Lake District for walking, the city of Lancaster has plenty on offer for ramblers.

Read more
Lancaster Canals
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The trail of storm devastation wreaked on Lancashire’s Beacon Fell has cleared the way for a new era of care for our countryside, writes Cathy Darby.

Read more
Friday, June 1, 2018

You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy a perfect summer holiday. Here’s a round-up of some fantastic destinations across the region.

Read more
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Children now spend less time playing in nature than their parents did, The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Molly Toal discusses

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

There are few finer thing than exploring the countryside surrounding the many rivers situated across the county.

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners are just two reasons for walking in this stunning area, as John Lenehan discovers

Read more
Bowland Walks
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Victoria Smith always loved horses but her high pressure job meant she had little time to ride – until she met a deer in the Forest of Bowland

Read more
Equestrian
Monday, May 14, 2018

Developments underway and planned around the city are celebrating its proud heritage and building for the future

Read more
Preston
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

For almost 25 years, outdoor writers and photographers Dennis and Jan Kelsall have produced guides and articles covering many of the country’s popular walking destinations. Here, Dennis picks five of his favourites.

Read more
Lancaster
Friday, May 4, 2018

Ramsbottom is well known for its food and drink scene, but Rebekka O’Grady meets some arty residents that will inspire your creative side.

Read more
Ramsbottom
Thursday, May 3, 2018

A devastating riding accident may have saved Katherine Beaumont from a life of anxiety and stress. Now she is sharing her experience.

Read more
Equestrian

A unique community musical in Wigan is taking one of George Orwell’s most famous works from the page to the stage and making a song and dance about social inequality.

Read more
Wigan
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search