Friday, 31 January 2014

Pony Death on North Berwick Law

There was some very sad news earlier this week from Berwick Law. It appears that one of the ponies, a youngster called Inspector Gadget, fell while playing and was killed.

The Moorland Mousie Trust has issued the following press release.


A 4 year old Exmoor pony called Inspector Gadget sadly slipped and fell possibly while playing with his pony friends on North Berwick Law and was killed on Tuesday.  This was a very unfortunate accident.  The pony had been grazing on site with 6 friends since October last year and all the ponies were coping ably with the terrain.  Exmoor ponies are renowned for being incredibly hardy and surefooted and the terrain at North Berwick Law is similar to their native habitat of Exmoor.

On nearby Traprain 13 ponies having been grazing happily for 2 years without incident.

The Exmoor ponies have been brought in by East Lothian Council’s Countryside Section to re-introduce the practice of conservation grazing to the sites.  The aim is to improve the value of the habitats, deter the spread of aggressive grasses and gorse and to promote the survival of more sensitive plant species. 

The grazing ponies have been supplied by Exmoor pony charity, The Moorland Mousie Trust.  The Trust is a registered charity with the aims of conserving and promoting the rare-breed native Exmoor pony.  As part of its work the Trust takes surplus foals off Exmoor at weaning, familiarises them with handling and then places them in suitable future homes, either grazing or with families.

Over 300 ponies from the Moorland Mousie Trust are grazing all over the UK, often on exposed and rocky sites.  Exmoor ponies are brilliant at conservation grazing; they are very hardy and have the ability to thrive in all sorts of habitats from high moorland to bogs.  The ponies are selective grazers with strong teeth, and whilst they like sweet young grass, they will also tackle gorse, purple moor grass, soft rush brambles and thistles with gusto; whilst trampling bracken and opening up the sward with their small sharp feet.  Exmoor ponies are loved and visited by the public on the sites they graze.   The Moorland Mousie Trust matches the sites, and the needs of that site with the ponies available.

The Trust is distressed by the loss of Inspector Gadget but after 14 years sadly occasional casualties of this kind are a tragic inevitability.

For more information on the Exmoor ponies grazing at North Berwick Law or Traprain Law please contact Juliet Rogers, Chair of the Trustees, The Moorland Mousie Trust on 01434 673122 or email    

1 comment:

  1. Gadget is a great loss to North Berwick Law - such an energetic character. Gadget represents a breed that is massively versatile. With the 18 months I have spent with the Exmoor Traprain ponies I have seen at 1st hand how they readily adapt to weather conditions and rocky-type terrain. I've been with them in the thick snows of last winter and while I was shivering in my coat the ponies treated it like a Summer's day, their winter coats protecting them fully from the winds, rain and snow. I see them cantering in the Traprain breezes - and thank MMT and East Lothian Council for enabling these wonderful ponies to experience the true meaning of Freedom - and for us humans to share in their delights. The Traprain ponies are at present particularly pleased with themselves as Traprain is now enjoying the delights of good grazing with vast numbers of beautiful lichen gracing its terrain - due to more sunlight being provided to them from grazing. The North Berwick ponies will in time also be celebrating their grazing achievements - and Gadget will have been playing a major part in that initial eperience.... Liz & The 13 Ponies of Traprain