Pony Power was launched at the Broads Authority’s annual open morning at Whitlingham Country Park to kicks off the 16-day Outdoors Festival.
It will give people a chance to contribute to the management of the ponies which, with their sensitive grazing patterns, help maintain fenland around the Broads.
The scheme promotes and celebrates 20 years of conservation management using ponies on the Broads fens. In return for a £20 donation members of the public will receive pony news, gifts – including a cute miniature plush pony – and special information.
The Broads Authority has a 25-strong pony team grazing six fenland sites. Made up of Konik and Welsh Mountain ponies the discerning diners are preferable to modern mowers. They feed on coarse grass, rushes and smaller fine-leaved sweet vegetation but, unlike mowers, leave the more wildlife-friendly plants and flowers alone.
Sue Stephenson, Environment Officer for the Broads Authority, said: “The ponies do an amazing job, munching on vegetation and in return managing our beautiful Broads habitat. There are some interesting characters and watching them interact is often entertaining.
“As many of our sites are tucked away and off the beaten track, people may not be aware that the ponies are part of our workforce.”
Anyone wanting to join the scheme or just find out more can visit www.broads-authority.gov.uk/looking-after/managing-land-and-water/pony-power