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Livestock Articles

Letter from the Dartmoor Society sent to Natural England regarding Dartmoor Ponies

Posted in Livestock on Wednesday 27th May 2015 at 11:36pm

James Cross
Chief Executive, Natural England
4th Floor, Foss House
Kings Pool
1–2 Peaseholme Green
York YO1 7PX

27 May 2015

Dear Mr Cross,

Ponies on Dartmoor and grazing calendars for agri-environmental schemes.

The Dartmoor Society is an independent charity with broadly educational aims, striving to improve the quality of decision-making on Dartmoor. We have approximately 450 members.

We have been very concerned to learn that a representative of Natural England has stated recently in forum-style meetings on Dartmoor that ‘there is no evidence that ponies are critical to Dartmoor’s biodiversity’ (see letter by Joss Hibbs in Western Morning News 25 May 2015). Moreover, we have learnt that there is a real possibility that ponies will be removed from the Natural England stipulations for grazing calendars on Dartmoor.

We are the only body to have held a public debate on the future of ponies on Dartmoor (in October 2013) and to have held a public research lecture highlighting new findings on the behaviour of ponies (in November 2014).

We therefore hope you can reassure us that ponies will be given proper recognition by Natural England as essential for the future of both Dartmoor’s ecology and culture, and that Natural England will themselves conduct research by properly qualified ecologists to establish the role ponies play in managing Dartmoor’s vegetation.

We would always be pleased to join in discussion with Natural England about the future of Dartmoor.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Greeves MA PhD
Chairman, The Dartmoor Society

Dartmoor Society members are most welcome to write to James Cross using the York address if they wish to voice any thoughts they may have themselves on this controversial subject.

We would also be very grateful if you would please consider signing a petition which is gathering momentum and we trust will seriously influence the powers at be if we can get enough support. Please just click the link below and follow the instructions – many thanks.

Sign the Petition

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Livestock Deaths and Injuries

Posted in Livestock on Tuesday 6th December 2011 at 10:48pm

A record of deaths and injuries caused by cars on the B3212 and B3357 1st January – 30th June 2011

Animal Number Event
Pony 3 Killed
Sheep 5 Killed
Pony Foal 1 Injured
Cow 1 Injured


Apart from the fate of the animal concerned, hitting a large object does considerable damage to your car, so please drive at a speed appropriate to the conditions and drive particularly carefully on unfenced roads.

Dr. Keith Strelling collated the information provided by Graham Colton, Peek Hill Farm, Mary Alford, Moortown Farm, and Philip Abel of Higher Godsworthy. Thanks to all concerned.

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Livestock Deaths and Injuries

Posted in Livestock on Thursday 1st October 2009 at 9:23pm

A record of deaths and injuries caused by cars on the B3212 and B3357 1st January – 30th September 2009

Animal Number Event
Pony 10 Killed
Sheep 12 Killed
Yearling 1 Injured
Cow 1 Injured


The 9 animals killed in 2009 on the B3212 Yelverton to Princetown road shows a 40% reduction on the 1999–2006 average of 15 a year. This may be due to the traffic speed management signs some of which are monitored by the National Park Authority.

Apart from the fate of the animal concerned, hitting a large object does considerable damage to your car, so please drive at a speed appropriate to the conditions and drive particularly carefully on unfenced roads.

Dr. Keith Strelling collated the information provided by Graham Colton, Peek Hill Farm, Mark Cole, Yellowmead Farm, Mary Alford, Moortown Farm and Philip Abel of Higher Godsworthy. Thanks to all concerned.

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