Welcome to the
Pony & Sheep Checkers
At four locations we use grazing animals to ensure grasslands continue to provide a rich array of flowering plants and places for insects. We use sheep to graze over-winter at Aberlady Bay LNR and at Barns Ness, whereas at North Berwick and Traprain Laws we have year-round nibbling delivered by Exmoor ponies.
It’s a great relationship – for the sheep, the shepherds get the land for free and we get the benefit for the maintenance. For the ponies it is an even better story still. This species is rough and tough, able to cope in all elements without supplementary feeding. From a point of near extinction, the population has now recovered to the extent that a charity – the Moorland Mousie Trust – is always looking for available land to place ponies on. So they win, as do we!
During March – September we record bumblebees and plants at these sites to serve as a measure of how effective the grazing is being. Click on the following links to find out more about volunteering to monitor bumblebees or plants.
Checking the Sheep and Ponies
The animals need a daily welfare check, which volunteers undertake. If you want to become a checker, please choose from the options below. We will then get in touch and arrange for some training. Checking is not hard, we are always looking for help, particularly over the weekends and you can come as often or as little as your time and space on the rotas permits. For more detail see the Tasks page.
Interested? Click on a picture to email us