As you may be aware, this summer EDDC’s Nature Reserve team will putting some Exmoor ponies up at Trinity Hill nr Axminster to help restore the heathland habitat on the nature reserve. Livestock grazing plays a vital role in heathland management, providing a sustainable way to enhance and maintain the biodiversity of this important wildlife habitat. Nathan Robinson, a ranger, says “I am hoping to have a small numbers of ponies on site by the end of May / beginning of June which will then remain there for the summer months.

As the common is not fenced,  we will keep the animals behind electric fencing across several compartments within the reserve. The compartments have been designed as to not interfere or obstruct any of the existing paths on the reserve and the temporary fence will be constructed of a single strand of electric wire on hazel posts thereby having little in the way of visual impact on the landscape.

Whilst the ponies are on site during the summer they will need to be checked daily to ensure their welfare and the fence line checked to insure it’s integrity, in order to keep the ponies enclosed and prevent them from straying onto the road. In order to cover these stock watching duties I am calling on the help of volunteers to carry out the simple stock checks. I will need to put together a rota to ensure that every day is covered whilst the ponies are on site so I am looking for volunteers that would be willing to take on regular stock checks during the summer, perhaps one check a week or as much as you can commit. The check itself will only take around 20mins to look at the animals, check the fence line and test the electric fencing. It’s a straight forward process and training will be provided.

So, if you are local to Trinity Hill or visit it  regularly, it would be great to have your help. Without the help of volunteers these conservation grazing projects would not be possible. Please do get in contact (Nathan: 07812 418 492) if you are able to help with these stock checking duties.”