The way PONT works is changing:
For the last 3.5 years PONT has received core funding from Welsh Government which has meant staff have been able provide lots of advice and support to secure nature friendly grazing on a range of sites across Wales for little or no cost. We have worked with farmers, graziers, communities and other organisations to implement land management and grazing that reduces fire risk, supports local food initiatives, values our native ponies, enhances public understanding of livestock, opens up access and enhances species and habitats.
In that time we have :-
- Secured new grazing on over 185 sites, including but not exclusively protected sites and nature reserves;
- Trained nearly 100 people to become stockcheckers by delivering the LANTRA accredited Stockchecker course.
Developed and delivered a suite of PONT professional training courses to over 200 people. Courses include Working with farmers, Using grazing to manage habitats, Conservation grazing, Managing dogs in the countryside and Building a stockproof fence.
- Increased the number of PONT Directors and welcomed 3 farmers onto the Board. There are additional people interested in joining at the next AGM.
- Organised and attended too many events to count. At events we have shared our knowledge, promoted Welsh wildlife and livestock farming, enthused people about the countryside and offered free PONT merchandise, tea and coffee.
- Sponsored the Native Cattle Section at the Royal Welsh Spring Festival.
- Organised and run our own exhibition area at the Heart of the Valley Show.
- Organised and run two highly successful conferences bringing farmers and environmental interests together.
- Supported the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service ‘Don’t Burn Bernie’ campaign in local schools by providing an opportunity for school children to meet and feed lambs and learn about how they could be harmed by wildfires
- Promoted messages about responsible dog management in the countryside and trialled new ways of working with dog owners including a Dog Poo wormery that was installed at Garn Goch common and through Dog Shows run at different locations.
- Helped to develop numerous project many of which have successfully gone on to secure funding. We are also helping to deliver some of these projects.
- Continuously promoted our message that Grazing is Amazing and if managed properly can have significant benefits for nature and for people.
We have enjoyed our experience immensely and have met lots and lots of interesting people along the way. Unfortunately our funding comes to an end on 31 March and in response we need to reduce staff hours and start to charge for our services. We are determined to carry on and PONT will be at the Royal Welsh Spring Festival and running an area at the Heart of the Valley show again in 2019 so come and see us there.. We will do our best to work with people to try and make what we offer affordable as we are all passionate about what PONT does.
If you’d like to discuss what we can do for you then please contact us by email or visit our website www.pontcymru.org