A Weald and Downland Living Museum worker takes on the plow challenge using traditional farming methods

Andy, based in Chichester, is the working animal supervisor at the museum and took up the challenge on January 26, having spent more than 100 hours plowing in total since the start of the month alongside the museum’s three Percheron horses, Ollie , Leon and Kash.

Andy set himself the ambitious goal of plowing 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 needed on the plow.

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Andy Robinson with the three Percheron horses from the Weald and Downland Living Museum, Ollie, Leon and Kash. Photo by Sam Stephenson

Andy said: “It’s been a tough challenge and I’m glad it’s done, but I also feel like there’s something missing now that it’s over.

“I’m very proud of the horses that got me there, they’re an incredible team.”

Andy embarked on the awesome challenge of helping to connect with farming methods of the past and allowing him to bring this to life for museum visitors by creating a unique visual experience.

He plowed an average of eight hours a day for five days a week with two days off in between, enduring all weather conditions to meet the challenge.

Andy said: “It was an all-consuming challenge, but the overwhelming support from the audience kept me going and made me feel like it was worth it.

“I also couldn’t have done all of this without the horses.

“The working breed thrives on physical labor such as traditional farming activities to keep them fit, strong and healthy and I loved watching them rise to the challenge in their stride and excel.”

Home to The Repair Shop, the museum invites visitors to experience a unique insight into our rural history, with the chance to explore historic buildings and gardens, see traditional farm animals, and interactive demonstrations and exhibits.

The award-winning museum also aims to follow a traditional agricultural calendar as much as possible and uses traditional farming methods and techniques to bring to life how rural communities worked and lived.

Andy and the horses are now taking a well deserved rest before the fields are sown with wheat, hay and cover crops, which give back and nourish the land.

To learn about farming methods of the past and learn more about crop rotation and how the soil was kept healthy for growing vegetables and herbs, the ,useum will host a weekend of historical life, Reaping the benefits of soil, sustainability and seasons May 7-8.

About Keneth T. Graves

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