Mid Wales

Wild Konik horses help restore moorland at Bwlch Corog

Konik horses

A herd of wild horses has been brought in to help restore moorland habitat to its natural state.

The Konik horses have moved on to Bwlch Corog, near Machynlleth, Powys, to graze on grasses preventing species like heather from growing.

The horses, from a herd in Kent, are descendants of the now extinct European horse, the Tarpan.

Cambrian Wildwood wants to extend native woodland from 10 to 100 acres across its land using natural projects.

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Media captionKonik horses thrive on moorland and eat purple moor grass

It is looking after a 350 acre site which was acquired by Wales Wild Land Foundation on a 125-year lease from the Woodland Trust, which bought the land.

Simon Ayres, from Cambrian Wildwood, said restoring the natural habitat includes introducing peat bogs as well as creating heath and moorland sites with the help of the horses.

The Koniks thrive on moorland and eat purple moor grass, unlike native sheep or cattle, allowing vegetation like heather and bilberry to grow.

Mr Ayres said grazing on the unwanted grasses and trampling on bracken will "create opportunities for trees to germinate, set seed and grow".

He said large herbivores were the "drivers of the ecosystem", adding they can help restore the habitat to a "more natural, wild form".

"What we want to do here is to introduce the native species that once would have lived here," he said.

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