Why do ponies graze at Rinsey?
Lots of people are pleased to see the ponies at Rinsey. Neighbours comment on how their daily dog-walk is enhanced by a bit of equine company, the botanists are delighted with the changes to the floral richness of the slopes, and visitors can’t believe their luck when a pretty chestnut Shetland wanders into their photo of the stunning Cornish coast.
So what are they actually doing here? As in conservation grazing schemes all over the country, we’re relying on the ponies’ feet more than their mouths. By wandering freely over the land they can’t help trampling the bracken and coarse grasses which could smother the wild flowers that thrive here when the conditions are right. The ponies will be taken away before the flowers come in the spring, so there’s no danger of the plants being damaged by the patter of little hooves.
The ponies are accustomed to walkers and dogs but we do ask folk not to feed them. This is because some animals might then approach, asking for food, and then get antsy when they don’t get any!