Keeping Fell Ponies on the fells in Cumbria.

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Fell Pony Heritage Centre. started this petition to DEFRA

DEFRA and Natural England's policies in Cumbria farming stewardship schemes are diminishing the likelihood of the rare hill-bred Fell Pony a future in its native environment with the right to roam as small hefted herds over extensively grazing upland hill commons and mountains locally called fells, which the native breed of ponies who live there are named after and are bred mostly on the eastern side of Cumbria.There are not many breeding mares left on the upland fells, about 200 in total found in small groups of 15 to 20 ponies hefted to an area that can cover hundreds of acres, this life supports the breeds great strength and stamina, running semi-wild all the year round.They had been bred for work on the farms and for transport by the farmers who have allocated grazing rights on the commons which they have done for a thousand years or more. Foals brought up in a herd environment learn social and survival skills.  It is hoped to raise awareness of how important the ponies are in their natural habitat as conservation grazers and the very core of Fell Pony breeding, as lowland breeders come back to the original ponies on the hills to buy young stock to ensure they keep close to breed hardiness and characteristics, so they still have important roles to play in the future of Cumbria's heritage and culture. Britain's hardy mountain ponies graze in such a way, that they can preserve the landscape and the subtle balance between plant and animal communities. Ultimately we need to raise the profile of the hill bred Fell Pony and work towards its positive inclusion in management plans, so that breeders keep their freedom of choice and receive support for traditional farming of this kind which should be treasured, not destroyed. Unless some thing is done about the threat to the hill bred Fell Pony herds they will be lost. Please sign this petition so it can be presented to DEFRA to change their grazing policies towards the Fell pony so that they can remain on the Cumbria fells all the year round on a permanent basis.

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!