CONSERVATION GRAZING

Shaping The Landscape

DARTMOORS ARE AN EFFECTIVE TOOL IN THE LAND MANAGEMENT TOOLBOX

Dartmoors are small, hardy ponies with a quiet temperament, making them ideal for conservation grazing.  Cattle, sheep and ponies have different mouths and graze in a different way.

Ponies have two sets of incisors, can nibble and bite but also grind with strong molars. They thrive with a varied diet and are happy on the moor all year.

They stamp on old stems of gorse to make it easier to eat and love the young shoots; they trample the bracken; nibble away at dense bramble and push into areas that other animals would not wish to go.  They graze on the ever-more-invasive Molinia (purple moor grass) which turns the landscape into a straw-coloured, dense environment that is not suitable for other grazers.

They’ll eat the sweeter grass all year round but in winter/early spring, when they are having to work hard at finding nourishment, they will push in to this growth and help to keep it under control so that better quality grazing and other plants can flourish.

This activity, along with dunging and constant movement, opens up paths and allows more  light to then create habitats that encourage other plants to grow and provide a food source for invertebrates

OUR CONSERVATION GRAZING SERVICE

We provide a fully comprehensive service to those managing land on the moors and beyond, covering:

To find out more please ask for Dru Butterfield on 01626 833234 or email admin@dpht.co.uk

Testimonial

“We have 160 hectares of wet and dry heath and valley mire that will benefit enormously from the structural diversity that the pony grazing will bring. The reserve is currently grazed with our own Flying Flock of sheep and intermittently by a grazier’s cattle but having the ponies resident on the site will help secure the grazing management for the habitat and a range of heath and mire species.

“DPHT has been extremely helpful in finding exactly what we were looking for in terms of the number, age range and gender of the ponies. It could’ve been quite a daunting prospect without Dru’s local knowledge. Having discussed the grazing with Dru, local keepers and seen the grazing that has been taking place firsthand in Dartmoor we are confident that our new employees will do a fantastic job on the reserve.”

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Testimonial