Protecting Ponies at Presthaven Sands
Countryside rangers have pulled together with the community to protect ponies
at Presthaven Sands from the dangers of ragwort.
Rangers from Flintshire County Council and the Bourne Leisure Caravan Park have
been working with groups of volunteers to remove the plant from the fields
where five Carneddau Welsh mountain ponies are grazing.
The horses have been used to graze the site of special scientific interest
since 2012 to help benefit the diversity of species in the dunes.
Ragwort is a common dune species that can be toxic to horses and although they
generally don’t eat it because of its bitter smell, rangers at the site have
not been taking any chances.
They’ve been working tirelessly with volunteers to pull up the ragwort from the
fields to eliminate any risk to the ponies.
Thanks go to volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Keep Wales Tidy,
North Wales Wildlife Trust and other helpers for their support and hard work
during the last few months.
Tim Johnson, Flintshire County Council’s ranger for the area, who coordinates
work across the dune system, said:
“It’s been hard work this season as we had a large number of plants coming
through but thanks to the fantastic help from partners, we were able to keep on
top of it.
“We hope to extend grazing as a management tool to our other sites in the
county and ragwort control is a key task in caring for our livestock.”
Plans are now already being made for next year’s programme at the site where
it’s hoped more community groups and private companies will want to get
Cllr Bernie Attridge, Lead Member for the Environment said:
“The teams have done a fantastic job at Presthaven Sands this year.
Partnerships like this are essential in the current economic climate and I’d
like to thank everyone involved. This is a great example of our countryside
service working with the community to benefit these important conservation
sites for everyone and for Flintshire’s wildlife.”
Caption - Flintshire County Council ranger Lawrence Gotts with the volunteers
from Bank of America Merrill Lynch