|One of last years foals enjoying some winter sun back in February|
The Konik Ponies, along with the Highland Cattle, are an essential part of the management of the wider nature reserve. The Wicken Fen Vision Projects aims to create a 53km2 nature reserve. This large an area would be impossible to manage using only manpower and machinery so the livestock do the work for us. Their grazing creates a mosaic of habitats, stopping any one plant out competing the others.
|Cheeky Chelsea investigating the ruins on Guinea Hall|
|Peanut, one of this year's foals|
The Koniks were chosen as the best breed to graze this area for several reasons. They are a hardy primitive breed, closely related to the now extinct Tarpan horse, the native wild European horse. This means they can cope in the extremes of weather, and don't need routine medical treatment such as worming. This hardiness also gives them an incredible ability to recover from injuries without veterinary treatment. They also have a proven ability to cope in wetlands without getting any hoof problems. Importantly they have a friendly temperament which means they will tolerate people near them even with minimal interference. This is important for the way we manage them as it means we can get close enough to get a good look at any injuries and makes any treatments necessary less stressful for both them and us.
|Egg, currently the only colt born this year on Adventurer's Fen|
|The ponies can play tricks on you while you're checking them. It took me a minute to figure out where one pony started and the other ended with these two sisters!|
|Galaxy is doing well with first time mum Lottie|
|Out newest addition. A little boy on Burwell Fen.|