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Published on July 1st, 2016 | by Perrin


Working Horse Trust

Carolyn Gray


Last July we had a very successful day in Grosvenor and Hilbert Park, when we welcomed The Working Horse Trust along. Four heavy horses came, two worked hard moving logs to the orchard to be used as seating. Two others had a very busy day being petted.

So popular was the event, that when another tree was felled in the park this winter, the Friends group decided to have a second Heavy Horse Day. The horses will move these extra logs to the orchard, and we are hoping that cart rides will also be available. Rendez-Vous Restaurant will be on hand with a BBQ, so you can test the log seating with lunch amongst the trees. It’s a very relaxed day, as the pace of the horses reminds us all to slow down. A return to the times when Hilbert Recreation Ground was a working farm 100 years ago, no cars or smart phones involved.

We are pleased to support The Working Horse Trust, who are based on the Eridge Estate. In 2012 they were asked to vacate their premises, and have been looking for somewhere suitable ever since.

The Working Horse Trust is the only charity of its kind in this country in as much as it is a volunteer-only organisation and it was formed to help preserve and promote all traditional breeds of Heavy Working Horse – the populations of which had become decimated by the 1960s and which today are all classified as rare breeds.

The Trust has 15 horses, and a team of over 40 volunteers.  Throughout the year they attend as many external events as possible to keep the horses in the public eye, to highlight the danger that the breeds are in and to help encourage wider interest in owning, breeding and working with heavies – particularly among the young. They are looking for volunteers, so please check their website, or come along to the park and have a chat with them.  We shall be making a bucket collection for them on the day, and their quest for a new home also continues.


It’s fitting that we have this event in ‘Love Park’s Week’, as a reminder of the many uses a park has. Looking ahead into August, on Wednesday 3rd FoGH will have a stall at Kent High Weald Partnership’s ‘National Play Day’ event, by the skate-park. We run this event as part of ‘Fields in Trust’, as the lower football pitch is a protected King George V Playing Field (hence the Hilbert Road gates and the hill’s name). It’s great that there are so many groups and organisations looking out for our green spaces and leisure time. Into September, and we have ‘Heritage Open Days’; for the first time FoGH will host their display in the Park Hub, rather than St Barnabas Church. Time to dust off the history files….

Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

Saturday 16th July 10.30am – 4pm

Hilbert Road entrance area, of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

Heavy Horse Day

The Working Horse Trust in action, includes stalls and refreshments


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