A gathering of the Konik ponies at Wicken Fen yesterday. With hundreds of acres of grazing to choose from, what’s the attraction on a patch of mud?
‘Herds of free roaming Konik ponies … are helping to engineer new habitats for wildlife at Wicken Fen. As the nature reserve expands under the Wicken Fen Vision, it would not be possible to manage the enlarged reserve using traditional methods of man and machinery, instead a more sustainable approach is needed. … Grazing animals are essential to the development of vegetation in new areas of the nature reserve. The animals help keep the landscape open and help wetland and grassland plants to become established. Why Konik ponies? … The hardiness of the breed means they are more than capable of withstanding the rigours of life on the fen throughout the year and thrive on the available forage. … The Konik pony is a very hardy breed originating from Eastern Europe ideally suited to our type of lowland landscape.’ (National Trust website)
‘The Konik or the Polish primitive horse is a pony breed from Poland that lives semi-feral in some regions. The Polish word konik is the diminutive of koń, the Polish word for “horse”. However, the name “konik” or “Polish konik” is used to refer to certain specific breeds.’ (Wikipedia)