"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."- John Muir
At The Tinnis Trust, we believe in the healing power of nature and we know that simply spending time in the outdoors is good for the soul. We take environmental stewardship seriously because we want our wonderful natural landscape to be here for everyone to enjoy for years to come. We are committed to teaching young people how to live in and love the environment.
Over the last 3 years, with the help of the Woodland Trust, we have planted more than 1,500 British native varieties of hedges and trees and we pledge to plant 400 more every year. Our sensory garden area was created entirely from recycled materials. We reuse rain water, grow natural produce and create our own compost on site. We champion rare breed British Native ponies, running a mixed herd of native breeds, and are passionate about promoting their role as conservation grazers.
"Equines are selective grazers, creating vegetation mosaics with shortly grazed patches interspersed with areas of undisturbed vegetation, and they can be useful for slowing down scrub encroachment through browsing. Sites using equines for conservation grazing or rewilding purposes find benefits to biodiversity, and at the same time the use of rare native breeds makes an important contribution to securing these historic breeds’ survival in the modern world. British native ponies can provide grazing and management solutions for multiple habitats. Small and able to survive almost anywhere, the Exmoor, for example, is an extremely hardy breed tolerant of most weather conditions due to their double winter coat. They are intelligent and adaptable, seen to exhibit problem solving behaviour in semi-feral situations such as breaking ice on frozen water. Their diet changes with the seasons avoiding environmental pressure.
Using equines on softer ground can create bare patches which in moderation benefits various species. Smaller native breed ponies are suitable for grazing on softer soils as their foot size and agility helps to reduce poaching making them ideal where larger breeds or species may not be viable. Though strongly grass based, native equines are highly adaptable foragers and adjust their intake dependant on environment. One example is the New Forest ponies which have been seen to consume large quantities of bracken once the toxicity decreases with no apparent ill effects.
These examples show the resourcefulness and versatility of our native breeds. Equine breeds which evolved in the British climate and have adapted to a variety of British habitats can be used to great effect to conserve, maintain, manage and solve a multitude of conservation conundrums. Utilising native breeds in this way enables the conservation and maintenance of the sites they are grazing but also the conservation and distribution of our rare and native equines. Conservation grazing provides an outlet for ponies who may not be suited to a ridden or driven career as well as youngsters and breeding individuals. British native equines graze a myriad of habitats the length and breadth of the country. They maintain condition easily, can withstand the worst of British weather and survive and thrive in various habitats. When seeking an equine conservation grazing solution, we should look at conserving British habitats with British breeds."
Andrea Parry-Jones, Rare Breeds Survival Trust