Introducing Felix, Felicity and Darcey to Overton Cliff!

The first grazing animals on Overton Cliff reserve for over 30 years

The first grazing animals on Overton Cliff reserve for over 30 years

Ponies at Work!

Felix, Felicity and Darcey are settling in to their new home on Overton Cliff

Felix, Felicity and Darcey are settling in to their new home on Overton Cliff

This is Felix, Felicity and Darcey arriving at Roydon’s Corner on an April evening where they were held overnight before being introduced to Overton Cliff in daylight.

These three have been separated from a group of ponies conservation grazing the dune heath at National Trust’s Penmaen Burrows where they were running out of forage. They will now be semi-permanent residents on Overton Cliff. The first grazing animals on this reserve for over 30 years this is another success in our efforts to restore the coastal heath via a combination of scrub clearance and conservation grazing on these important South Gower Coast reserves.

While our reserves work is limited to only essential tasks during this period of restrictions due to Covid-19, our livestock across our nature reserves can carry on with their valuable conservation grazing work (presumably with less disturbance from people). In general the stock we put on our sites are quiet but they may possibly be curious about people, typically they aren't into being petted - they stay at arms length from human contact then walk off when they've had enough - so their social distancing skills are reasonably good.

Just as with coming into proximity with other people's animals during Covid-19 - not touching them will help prevent you picking up the virus in the unlikely event it was shed on them. Of course, if you are using our reserves for your daily exercise please practice good hygiene measures before, during and after your walk – washing your hands before and after and using hand sanitizer during your walks (especially before opening gates or crossing stiles). This will help protect our staff, livestock checkers and others from picking up the virus.

Please also keep your dogs under close control and clean up their faeces. Dog faeces can carry viruses which are fatal to livestock. Livestock can be attracted to eat them by the cereals from dog food which remain undigested.

Paul Thornton