Did you know invasive species such as Himalayan balsam can be controlled with conservation grazing?
This is Milly and her friend, previous Grazer of the Week Jean. Milly is a semi-feral Welsh Hill Pony from the Gower Commons.
Milly and Jean are grazing private land on the flood plain meadow of the River Dewi in Meidrim. The landowner made contact with PONT Cymru through the Carmarthenshire Meadows Group. The ponies key aim is to reduce the invasive Himalayan balsam that can be found on the site.
Himalayan balsam is a highly invasive plant that flourishes in Wales. Initially introduced as a garden plant, it has exploding seed pods that help it spread rapidly. It is an annual with shallow root systems. It is fast growing and quickly overtakes river systems, then when it dies back in the winter leaves the soil with no stabilisation. This leads to river banks washing away and increases the risk of flooding downstream.
Grazing animals can effectively help to control invasive species and we hope that Milly and Jean are going to help prevent further spread at this site.
Contact PONT Cymru if you need help with a conservation grazing project.