Thursday, 17 February 2011

Wildwood gets wild horses ready for move to Scotland

The team at Wildwood have been busy moving some of the charity’s wild horses from their homes in Dover to the Wildwood Wildlife Park near Canterbury in readiness for them moving to a new home in Scotland. The horses are being transferred to the RSPB nature reserve at the Loch of Strathbeg where they will live wild to improve the wetland habitat through natural grazing.

In total 8 Konik foals have been transported from sites at Hospital Down and Western Heights near Dover. Visitors can see the foals at Wildwood for the next few weeks before they are moved to their new home in Scotland.

A team from Wildwood went to Dover to move the horses and to check the health of the rest of the wild herd. Head Keeper Paul Wirdnam said “Konik horses are much tougher than domestic horses and are perfectly suited to living wild. They require very little human intervention but this is the ideal opportunity for us to give the herd a general check-up and ensure that they are all happy and healthy.”

As a conservation charity, The Wildwood Trust is committed to improving conditions for wildlife throughout the UK. The Wildwood Trust's vision is to bring back our true 'wildwood' by restoring Britain's land to its natural state through conservation grazing by large wild herbivores that restore natural ecological processes to help Britain team with wildlife once more.

Konik horses are the closest living relative of the extinct Tarpan, the wild forest horse that roamed Britain in prehistoric times. They are hardy animals that live well on wetlands eating weeds, reeds and grass. They help to boost biodiversity through light grazing and natural fertilisation which keeps the land open and encourages a wider variety of plants, birds and invertebrates to settle in the area.

Wildwood’s Chief Executive Peter Smith said “We are delighted to be working with the RSPB to send these beautiful animals to the Loch of Strathbeg . They are the ideal conservation management tool and will boost the area’s biodiversity”

The Konik foals are currently at Wildwood and can be seen by visitors until they depart for Scotland. Wild horses are just one of the huge range of British animals that can be seen at the Wildwood Wildlife Park near Canterbury. For more information visit our website at or telephone 0871 7820081.

Further information on Konik Horses

Wildwood Trust & Kent Wildlife Trust pioneered the re-introduction of these amazing animals to the UK in 2002. The two Kent based nature conservation charities brought the first ever of their breed to arrive in southern England and these horses and their offspring have been helping to restore some of the most precious national nature reserves in the UK.

The Konik horse is the closest living relative of the extinct Tarpan, the wild forest horse that roamed Britain in prehistoric times. The horses are the last descendants of the true wild horse of Britain and Europe and have survived centuries of persecution and even squads of Nazis sent to kidnap them for genetic experiments.

Konik horses show numerous primitive features, associated with their ancestor, the Tarpan. They are resistant to harsh climates and severe weather conditions, hence their extensive range. They are very fertile and can produce numerous offspring in their lifetime. As they are adapted to foraging in the wild, they can live on a limited amount of food and have an extremely resilient immune system. They are very intelligent, allowing them to adapt their diet according to season and food availability. Konik horses do not require horseshoes as their hooves are naturally self-trimming, breaking off as they become too long.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails