Exmoor ponies from Scotland are to be brought over to join Exmoor National Park’s free-roaming herds. The first three ponies – two mares and a stallion – will soon be reintroduced to the moor in carefully controlled and monitored situations with the assistance of moorland breeders.
An independent report recently commissioned through the Heart of Exmoor Scheme highlighted the importance of genetic diversity in the Exmoor Pony moorland herds, and the Exmoor Pony Society has responded by seeking to bring bloodlines back to the moor.
Sandra Mansell, Treasurer and Project Officer for the Society and a member of the Exmoor National Park Authority’s Pony Panel, commented, ‘The work of the Society in the field of genetics has been well recorded and we have a number of members who have taken a special interest in this field amongst them Debbie Davy who was awarded the ‘Marsh Award for Conservation in Bio-genetic Diversity’ in 2001. The genetic work carried out has allowed the Society to highlight bloodlines at risk and advise the moorland breeders of ponies who progeny should remain on the moor rather than be sold to up-country buyers.”