Mowing, Mending and Moving!
Sunday, October 13th 2019
On the only dry day last week, some of the large glades (mini wildflower meadows) were cut. This is important to allow new growth next year.
The cuttings were raked into rows. In a few days time the rows will be scattered and raked again before the hay is made into a pile. This will help to scatter the wildflower seeds. All that is needed is for some sunny weather to dry out the grass!
With many major habitat types there are always management jobs to be done. A lot of conservation involves cutting back vegetation and this is where Lark and Taurus, the two Exmoor ponies have been very helpful. However, with so much rain recently they were starting to damage the ground at Plover's Pool and alternative grazing was required. A suitable field was found nearby and all that was needed was some repair work to the fencing. Armed with fencing pliers, strainers, hammers and staples the team went on a fence fixing mission!
In some places the wire was raised to make the fence just that bit higher.
Then the wire was tightened all around to make it safe.
In no time at all the two acre field was safe and secure.
The next job was to clean out the water trough, not Alex's favourite task! Ragwort was also pulled from the area as it is poisonous to ponies.
The following day, the ponies were caught (this took a lot of patience, time, apples and spearmint flavoured herby treats)! They then had to be walked through the reserve on their halters. This sounds easy but the ponies are wild and were unsure of the different surroundings. A particular problem was the wooden bridges that Lark was reluctant to cross as his hooves made a lot of noise on the decking!
A bucket full of treats did the trick though and soon the group were heading to the edge of the reserve.
The ponies were lead out of Foxglove and over some of the neighbouring training land.
All the time keeping the bucket at the front of the convoy!
As soon as they were let off of the leads inside their new home, the pair had a good gallop about and Taurus enjoyed a good roll in the grass.
He seemed to be very content!
The ponies will stay here for a few months to give the land at Foxglove some respite. They will return in the spring to continue with their important conservation role!
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