Exmoor Ponies at risk can help save rare wildflowers

ENDANGERED Exmoor poniesENDANGERED Exmoor ponies have been sent far from home to preserve the rare wildflowers of a moorland wilderness.

Most breeds wouldn't touch the rough grassland of Kielder, in the north of Northumberland, but to the hardy Exmoor, it poses no difficulties.

In keeping the grass short, they allow the rare flowers, which are unique to the sprawling Borders grassland, to flourish.

Schoolchildren at Kielder First School will help to look after the ponies, who will be setting up home in a neighbouring field.

Three ponies will be sent to two sites in Kielder and the neighbouring village of Bellingham.
The animals have been provided by the Moorland Mousie Trust, a charity which works to find new homes for the ponies and preserve the breed.

Tom Boden, of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: "Grazing is very important for wildlife conservation.
"That this project will protect a rare breed and benefit young people at the same time makes it extra special. Everyone is really looking forward to getting the ponies."

Newsquest Media Group.