Conservation Grazing in West Cornwall

Pony at Boswednack

If you’re out walking the coast and countryside in West Cornwall you may come across some conservation grazers in the form of ponies.

We are working in partnership with Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary who are supplying ponies for grazing to help with our habitat management plans. The ponies have been rescued, often from malnutrition and neglect or are unwanted, so it is great to see them having a new lease of life on the cliffs.

Grazing is often the most effective and natural way to maintain certain habitats such as grassland and heathland. The ponies do a fantastic job of trampling bracken and coarse grasses as well as nibbling away at encroaching gorse and large tussocks of grass. The work done by the ponies means these more aggressive species don’t dominant the landscape and opens up areas for wildflowers to thrive, supporting a more diverse habitat. We will be closely monitoring the sites to ensure good progress is being made and there aren’t any major negative impacts. 

Ponies grazing at Cudden Point
Ponies grazing at Cudden Point
Ponies grazing at Cudden Point

We’ve already seen the benefits of grazing in this way at sites where this has been in place for several years and hope to see more areas becoming a buzz of activity enjoyed by many. If you have any questions or concerns about the grazing schemes please contact us by email, westcornwallcountryside@nationaltrust.org.uk

Enjoy watching the ponies with the stunning West Cornwall coast and countryside as a backdrop, but please do not approach or feed the ponies and keep dogs under control. They are wild animals and we’d like to keep it that way. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the ponies, please contact Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary on 07376 399766.

Sunset and ponies at Cape Cornwall
Sunset and ponies at Cape Cornwall
Sunset and ponies at Cape Cornwall

If you’d like to help with this conservation grazing work you can volunteer with the Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary to check the ponies on a regular basis. Please call Pip Lovelock of Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary on 07376399766 for more details.