Apr 18 2019

Dartmoor Ponies at Wooston Hillfort

For the keen eyed among you, you will have noticed a visible change up at Wooston hillfort. A fence has gone in encompassing the whole site and gates have been fitted along most of the major rides. We’ve always looked to get Wooston grazed at some point and some means and researched a variety of ideas before settling on the current system. All we need now are the beasts to graze the site.


If the gate is closed, please close it again after you                                                                                                               The gates being installed at Wooston

The good news is that From 16th April, we will have 4 Dartmoor ponies loaned to us from Natural England. They will be grazing the hillfort for a month and we will be watching them closely to see how they interact with the site, with contractors and more importantly with you the public.

                                                                                                         Some of the Dartmoor ponies, loaned to us by Natural England ,grazing in Ross Meadow                                                                                                                   

These semi-feral mowers will be happily grazing their way through grass, bramble, birch and a host of plant matter. The hooves that tread the soil, and bracken will hopefully do wonders to site for archaeology and habitat alike.

There are several notes of caution however; please don’t feed them. As much their brown eyes may plead we don’t want these guys to become accustomed to the human hand. They might become unwanted followers to unsuspecting walkers. Another cautionary tale will be to close the gates when the ponies are in the area. We’ll let you know of course, but the last thing we would want to do is lose 4 brown coloured ponies, in amongst 823 acres of brown coloured trees. If the gate is closed, please keep it closed…

Finally, if you see a problem, big or small, please report it. Numbers will be there on site for you to ring and we constantly check the Fingle woods email address – finglewoods@woodlandtrust.org.uk. Otherwise, I’m sure they’ll become local celebrities in a short matter of time whilst they carry out their essential work up on that spectacular hill fort.

By Fred Hutt, Fingle Ranger

fence pictures were taken by Ella Chambers and the pony pictures by Paul Moody

Please visit https://finglewoods.org.uk/ for more information

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