Dartmoor ponies in Cornwall

24 September 2012

Last week my wife, Joy, and I were in Cornwall and completely on a whim we went to Treen Farm, St Levan. Why you may ask? Well, in June, Dru, our charity manager and Allison Geen a Dartmoor farmer, took four young Dartmoor ponies, just handled, down to this farm for conservation grazing on the cliff tops. I mean, the cliff tops!!! Straight down with nothing in the way. Paula, who farms the land with her husband welcomed us very warmly and was genuinely so pleased to see us. She explained where the ponies were and we set off on safari, anything more than twenty yards is a safari. We eventually arrived at the site and saw that it was well signed and had new gates. Paula had explained to us that the ponies were already masters of the Cornish walls and went off when it suited them.
To say the site is stunning is a massive understatement. On the right is the Minack Theatre, which tumbles down the cliffs towards the sea. Beneath the cliffs is Porthcurno Beach with its beautiful sands. Then on towards the Logan Stone and the cliffs themselves beyond. The sea was azure blue and quite calm, not always I can assure you.

On our way towards the cliffs we could see where the ponies had spent the night with the bracken and grass flattened into four neat areas. The ponies, when we found them, were nonchalantly grazing a pathway and when I spoke to them they all lifted their heads and raised their ears. Whoops, I didnít want them to recognise me so I walked off and they soon went back to eating. They totally ignored the walkers and the dogs and carried on as if they owned the place, which of course they do. They looked magnificent and had filled out well without being fat. We spent some time near them and watched as they ate. They were not highly selective in what they chose to eat, in fact they were spoilt for choice and they were thoroughly happy in their environment. There was water nearby and plenty of natural shelter. They soon moved off towards the cliff tops and the last view we had of them was from about a mile away and they were silhouetted against the sea Ė then they were gone, probably saying to each other, where do I know them from??