Exmoor ponies grazing

Native British ponies to help conserve the heathland through grazing

Four Exmoor ponies will spend the summer grazing the heathland at Trinity Hill. The ponies, which arrived on Monday April 25, are on loan from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Aylesbeare, which look after the animals during the winter. The  Ponies will spend the summer at Trinity Hill, bringing new life to the heathland through conservation grazing.

Countryside Ranger, Nathan Robinson said:

Livestock has been used throughout history as an essential component of heath land management. Selectively grazing vegetation helps to create a variety of ecological niches with diverse wildlife.

After the success of grazing the site last year we are hoping to cover a larger patch of land this year. The visiting ponies were popular with members of the public and many families explored Trinity Hill as a result of them being there.

The East Devon Conservation volunteers have spent the winter preparing the site for the ponies, creating two new fencing compartments within the local nature reserve to expand the area managed through conservation grazing. A team of volunteers will check on the horses daily to ensure that they are settling in well and have enough food and water.

The ponies will be fenced off to ensure the safety of the public and all the grazing areas have been designed so that they do not obstruct any existing pathways.

Members of the public are welcome to come and observe these beautiful animals as they graze. However, they are reminded that dogs must be kept under close control during this period to avoid any conflict with the new livestock, or the ground nesting birds that make Trinity Hill their home during summer. 

Trinity Local Nature Reserve is an area of lowland heath situated two
miles South East of Axminster, with fantastic views overlooking Axminster and the Axe Valley. The site is managed by East Devon District Council's Countryside team throughout the year for the benefit of a wide range of wildlife.