Caerneddau ponies at Carmel

Earlier this year, staff and volunteers spent several cold and wet days at Carmel Nature Reserve, clearing and burning brambles on an exposed ridge. The aim was to restore and extend areas of heath, clinging on between patches of thick bracken and bramble.

Bramble clearance at Garn South Jan 2014 Carmel

Bramble clearance at Garn South

This month additional help arrived in the form of four Caerneddau Ponies. It is hoped that these hardy mountain ponies will aid our work by grazing and trampling bracken, bramble and other scrub found on the ridge. They will also benefit by grazing the marshy grassland at the base of the ridge. Here the grasses have become rank due to lack of management in recent years.

Caerneddau ponies are a breed of Welsh mountain ponies that go back to the time of the Celts. Traditionally found on the northern slopes of Snowdonia, studies have shown that they’re a genetically distinct population, arising from being isolated for several hundreds of years.

Ponies grazing, Garn South May 2014 Carmel

Ponies grazing, Garn South

Caerneddau ponies are smaller in stature to other ponies, with a stockier physique. They are built to withstand hard winters on poor quality grazing. Because of this they have good success in grazing land of wildlife value, and are a useful tool in enhancing biodiversity.

Campaigners for the ponies are keen to find a use for them to ensure that they have a long term viable future, thus making conservation grazing projects an ideal solution. We are gladly helping to facilitate this, as by giving Shidan, Harry, Seren and Arran a role at Carmel, we are also fulfilling some of our own conservation goals.

These Caerneddau Ponies have been kindly lent to us by Charles and Mo Morgan from Llangadog.

Also many thanks to those who have donated to our Carmel Appeal this has helped us enormously in funding this work, we do continue to need more funds for this project and if you are able to support us in this we would be most grateful.