Did you know riding ponies can be conservation grazers too?
This weeks Grazer of the Week is Bronwen the Welsh Cob. Bronwen is owned by Gower local Jenni Nellist and she is primarily a riding horse. However, together with her field mates, she has recently become a conservation grazer too!
Jenni has been working with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and other local landowners to graze meadows around Port Eynon on the south coast of Gower.
Over the winter, the horses graze Roydon’s Corner for December and January. They then move to another meadow paddock for February and March. The horses strip graze the paddocks. This ensures the standing sward is removed before the next growing season. This prevents competitive grasses and other plants taking over early in the season. This encourages a diverse mix of wildflowers to flourish.
The benefits of last winters grazing can already be seen, with yellow rattle, common vetch, catsears and common cranesbill flourishing on Roydons Corner.
This kind of collaboration is beneficial to both parties. The horse owner gets grazing for their animals, sometimes for little or no rent and the landowner gets the animals they need to graze their land. Horse owners can encourage wildflowers in their meadows by grazing over winter, then reducing grazing in the summer to allow flower growth. A varied diet has benefits for horse health too!
Do you need assistance with a conservation grazing project? Contact PONT.
Would you like to show off your grazing animals? You can enter your animals for the chance to feature as ‘Grazer of the Week’ by using #grazeroftheweek and tagging @pontcymru on Instagram and Facebook. Tell us a bit about you and your animals, we love to hear your stories.
By tagging PONT Cymru in your photos, you agree that they can be used on our website and shared on social media at a later date with a credit.