Grazer of the Week 4th October; White Walker the Welsh Pony

White walker conservation grazing rhos pasture pont cymruFormally feral pony, White Walker recently made the move from the Gower Hills to the edge of the Black Mountains. So named for her eerie blue eye! With her sister Baby Dice, she is grazing a wet meadow with dominant molinia grass, to help maintain the habitat for marsh fritillary butterflies.

The marsh fritillary, was our last Species in Focus. The main foodplant, devil’s-bit scabious, can be found in marshy grassland and rhos pasture across Wales. The long term survival of the marsh fritillary butterfly is dependent on grazing. Appropriate grazing, ideally by cattle, creates the ideal habitat mosaic of tussocky grass for sheltering larval webs and encourages the growth of the food plant.

Our thanks to Gower Ponies and Redwings for their help with the management of these beautiful ponies.

PONT Cymru are involved with various grazing projects for these butterflies across Wales, including at The Dranges on Gower and Dare Valley Country Park.

If you’d like to talk about a grazing project involving marsh fritillaries, get in touch.

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