Andy the Museums Working Animal Supervisor completed the ploughing challenge on January 26, having spent over 100 hours in total ploughing since the start of the January alongside Percheron horses, Ollie, Leon and Kash.
At the start of January Andy set the ambitious goal of ploughing 12 acres of land in 12 days and managed to finish just short of his target, completing the challenge in 15 days after overcoming a setback that meant repair work was required to the plough.
After completing the challenge Andy said: “It’s been a tough challenge and I’m glad it’s done, but I also feel like something is missing now it’s over. I am very proud of the horses for getting me there, they are an incredible team.”
Andy embarked on the impressive challenge to help connect with farming methods of the past and enable him to bring this to life for the museum’s visitors by creating a unique visual experience.
He ploughed for an average of eight hours a day for five days a week with two days off in-between, enduring all weather conditions to complete the challenge.
Andy said: “It was an all-consuming challenge but the overwhelming support from the public spurred me on to keep going and made it feel so worthwhile. I also couldn’t have achieved any of this without the horses. The working breed thrives on physical work such as traditional farming activities to keep them fit, strong and healthy and I loved seeing them just take the challenge in their stride and excel.”
Throughout the year the Museum aims to follow a traditional farming calendar as much as possible and we use traditional farming methods and techniques to bring to life how rural communities used to work and live.
Andy, Ollie, Leon and Kash are now taking a well-deserved rest before the fields are sown with heritage wheat, hay crop and cover crops, which give back to and feed the land.
Join us on May 7-8 for our Historic Life Weekend: Reaping the benefits of earth – soil, sustainability and seasons, as we delve more into farming methods of the past and learn about crop rotation and how the soil was kept healthy for growing vegetables and herbs.