Week Ending February 28th

A busy week again managing the pony grazing…

Monday.  We reached agreement with Natural England and a local farmer to spring/summer graze asap ‘Berwick Down’ near Alfriston.  This is a fairly large site of about 20 hectares.  Following 2/3 years of this action to hopefully remove much of the offending bulk of the tor grass, the plan is then to change to a winter grazing scenario which should encourage the other flora and fauna.

Tuesday.  Run around day, checking ponies at Hastings, Beachy Head, Belle Tout and Lullington Heath.  At BH we last week opened up a further section of grass reaching almost to the cliff edge; the ponies had now found this.  At BT the ponies are on course to finish grazing there in the coming fortnight before perhaps going on to a new National Trust property?

Wednesday.  A damp start but during the afternoon it was glorious!  We erected some 1200 metres of electric fencing in readiness for bringing the 18 ponies over from Lullington Heath next week.  To begin with, our 4×4 truck had to claw its way up a very muddy track, followed by us having to hump material up to 400 m away.  Phew!  Late afternoon and as we were about to come down off the downland escarpment, we spotted two short-eared owls quartering across the rank grassy slopes, presumably hunting for voles.

Saturday.  We almost finished the electric fencing at Berwick Down today – in fairly trying conditions, with near gale force winds and drizzle.

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