Dartmoor Ponies Winter Grazing on North Cornwall Coast

Here on the North Cornwall coast the Holywell to Tintagel ranger team recently took delivery of nine beautiful Dartmoor ponies, including three foals born earlier in the year. They seemed delighted to have arrived when they completed their journey, instantly galloping around and exploring the picturesque territory of their seaside winter vacation.

Several of the ponies have returned here from last year, where they previously grazed over the winter months. They are to be found on the cliffs at either Epphaven or Doyden (they alternate between the neighbouring locations), where they help to reduce and control scrub such as gorse, brambles and blackthorn. This is part of an ongoing scheme that has already spanned almost a decade, with the dual purpose of providing an environmentally friendly (and cheap!) method of keeping the scrub down, whilst at the same time creating and enhancing a habitat suitable for wild flowers to flourish within, and a whole host of associated insects and birds.

Jon Gardner
(FTV Ranger Holywell to Tintagel)