Our four Dartmoor ponies have gone on their winter holiday to our Butterfly Reserve at Lankham Bottom, where the ground is less muddy and where there is more grass and a change of scenery!
This is the first time they have been moved since their arrival at Alners Gorse in November 2012, and despite our anxieties, the loading up and journey went very smoothly with a minimum of bickering between them.
The corral and gate system at Alners Gorse proved itself to be very workable. The four immediately made themselves at home, running the entire perimeter of the reserve then across the middle, obviously carrying out a quick assessment of their new quarters.
We are having to replace some of the fencing along the southern and western borders of the reserve as it is barely stock-proof and a team of nine branch volunteers spent a bright sunny day on February 16th clearing the gorse and bramble from the old fence and getting it ready for the contractor to start the job. A Peacock butterfly flew past, tempted out of its slumbers by the warmth of the day.
The new fence has been now been installed by local contractor David Wareham and completed in record time with the help of local BC volunteers and members of the EuCAN CIC Cerne Valley group (see http://www.eucan.org.uk )
We are very grateful to Wessex Water for agreeing to fund the new fencing.
The ponies are checked daily by our team of pony ‘lookers’ – if you would like to be involved, please contact Kathy Henderson on 01963 23559.