The well loved sight of Exmoor ponies at Hastings Country Park is coming to an end with the ponies being removed.
The Sussex Pony Grazing Conservation Trust who manages the ponies has told the council their organisation now has an uncertain future and they will no longer be able to manage the ponies. As a result they are moving them to a different location.
The ponies have been grazing the slopes and glens of Hastings Country Park for the last six years. Their conservation grazing habits have transformed Warren Glen from a bracken dominated habitat to one where native coastal grassland and heather now dominates.
Cllr Colin Fitzgerald said: “We are really sorry the Trust is taking to ponies away. They have been a great attraction for the public and they have done a fantastic job of recovering threatened and rare coastal habitats.
“As a conservation tool, they have been invaluable in helping the council retain their green flag awards and receive a special award for conservation grazing from the Keep Britain Tidy Group.
“However, we wish them well in their new home. We will be contacting other organisations to see if we can bring another set of ponies to the reserve “
Exmoor ponies are particularly suited to the rugged terrain of Hastings Country Park and they have become a familiar and well-loved site at the country park. Together with the Belted Galloway cattle they form the conservation grazing backbone for managing the rugged and inaccessible areas of Hastings Country Park.