This week our Wetland Recovery Project received a huge boost with the arrival of five new animals, here to help us revitalise this important habitat.
The three Soay Sheep and two Konik Horses came from our sister site in Herne Bay, Kent.
The Soay sheep are an ancient breed origination from the Sottish Isles and the Konik horses are the closest relative to the wild horses that shaped the ancient landscape.
Requiring minimal human supervision or care, both species are considered first class conservation grazers, enabling conservationists to manage complex ecosystems without employing potentially damaging human intervention.
These impressive animals will help us to prevent the decline of our wetland by grazing on the bramble and other scrub species which, without management, will dominate the grasslands vital to a number of important species.
Following a number of surveys, we’ve established that the wetland is home to dormice, harvest mice, water vole and a range of reptiles.
As they make their way around the habitat they will open up new areas to other wildlife, making bodies of water more accessible to water fowl. Their droppings will fertilse the ground and distribute seeds helping to propagate important plant species.The horses in particular will be very much at home in the streams helping to increase the flow and reverse the over-silting.
These new animals will be working alongside the amazing volunteers who help us to do the vital work of repairing bridges, pathways and drainage to ensure that the wetland can be enjoyed by all our visitors.
For more information on the Wetland Recovery Project:
If you’d like to join of incredible volunteer team visit the website here: https://devon.wildwoodtrust.org/get-involved/volunteers/