Pony Appeal


Durham Wildlife Trust’s Pony Appeal

Help Durham Wildlife Trust acquire a herd of native breed Exmoor ponies for conservation grazing.



We have been overwhelmed by the support shown for our Pony Appeal, the campaign has reached its goal with thanks to the generosity of DWT members, volunteers and the public. Please continue to donate, additional funds raised will be set aside and used for the ongoing care of the Exmoor Ponies.

Durham Wildlife Trust’s Pony Appeal is raising funds to support the acquisition of a herd of 12 Exmoor ponies from the Moorland Mousie Trust. Exmoor ponies are hardy, native breed ponies, perfectly suited for conservation grazing.

  • Exmoor ponies have a varied diet which changes with the seasons, given sufficient natural habitat, they do not require winter feeding. Whilst they like sweet, young grasses, they will also tackle gorse, purple moor grass, soft rush, brambles and thistles.
  • Their double-layered winter coat means that they can withstand hostile winter conditions and do not require artificial shelter.
  • Exmoor ponies are recognised as an endangered breed. They are charismatic creatures, their presence on our sites will help to raise the profile of conservation and will encourage more people to visit their local nature reserves. As a semi-feral breed, Exmoor ponies will tend to keep clear of the public making them well-suited for conservation grazing on our reserves.
  • Their ability graze on encroaching rank grasses and their tendency to browse means that they naturally improve the species diversity of the sites they inhabit.
  • Exmoor ponies have smaller hoofs than other ponies, which limits their impact on the ground. Their small, sharp feet will trample bracken and will open up swards, allowing for new growth.
  • Having our own herd of Exmoor ponies will enable the Trust to deliver flexible and responsive conservation grazing on our nature reserves without having to rely on the availability and cooperation of graziers.
  • Our volunteers currently spend a lot of time cutting and raking meadows as part of reserve management, a conservation grazing programme would enable the teams to focus on other essential conservation tasks, further improving the diversity of our countryside.

The Trust has been working closely with the Moorland Mousie Trust over the years, the Moorland Mousie Trust was established to promote and protect Exmoor ponies which are an endangered and rare-breed. Their main focus is on providing a future for the excess foals which are removed from the moor each year. To date the charity has helped to secure the future of over 500 Exmoor ponies. The support we receive from the Moorland Mousie Trust coupled with the proven track record Exmoor ponies have in conservation grazing throughout the North East and their relative low cost to acquire and support makes them ideally suited for our conservation grazing program.

The John Spedan Lewis Foundation has generously donated £4,200 to kickstart our Pony Appeal. We need your support to raise the additional £5,000.

Supporter Levels:

£2 – A Thank You
Thank you for your support.

£5 – Pony Updates
Receive updates from the herd, find out where they are and how they are helping with reserves management.

£10 – Online Supporters’ Page
Your name will be added to our online supporters’ page (+Receive pony updates).

£25 – Limited Edition Pin Badge (100 available)
Receive a limited edition pin badge, a certificate of support and all of the benefits above.

£50 – An invite for two (30 available)
Receive an invite for two people to an Exmoor pony talk and welcome the ponies as they arrive to one of our reserves from Exmoor. Includes all of the benefits above.

£100 – An Exmoor Pony Thank You Pack (20 available)
Receive a thank you pack which includes a DVD on Exmoor Ponies, an Exmoor pony tote bag and all of the benefits above.

£250 – Name a Pony (0 of 12 available)
All of the ponies have been named with thanks to the very kind generosity of our members, volunteers and the public. Please continue to donate to help us reach our campaign’s goal.

Please Support the Pony Appeal and help us bring Exmoor ponies to the North East