Devon Wildlife Trust welcomes new male foal

Mother 'Liquorice' keeps a maternal eye over Devon Wildlife Trust's latest team member

Mother 'Liquorice' keeps a maternal eye over Devon Wildlife Trust's latest team member - Credit: Archant

Devon Wildlife Trust is celebrating the birth of a new staff member – one with four legs.

One of the trust’s herd of six pedigree Exmoor ponies gave birth to a colt male foal at the charity’s Meeth Quarry nature reserve, near Hatherleigh.

Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve Officer Ian Chadwick had been nervously anticipating the birth for several weeks and said: “Mother and foal are doing very well, although the youngster was a bit wobbly to start with.”

The arrival strengthens a vital team of workers within Devon Wildlife Trust. The charity’s Steve Hussey explained: “The herd of Exmoor ponies are our unpaid workforce at Meeth Quarry. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week munching the rank grasses and scrubby shrubs which would otherwise quickly overwhelm the nature reserve’s open areas.”

Meeth Quarry is Devon Wildlife Trust’s most recent acquisition. At 150 hectares it is one of the largest of the charity’s 48 reserves and its Exmoor ponies are playing a crucial role in its upkeep.

Using funding from Natural England, Devon Wildlife Trust has been busy since January improving the nature reserve for visitors and wildlife. Amongst many changes it has installed a number of trails for walkers, wheelchair users and cyclists. These paths link to the Tarka Trail which passes through the centre of the site which was a working clay quarry until 2004.