Visitors to the Helm, the large hill next to Oxenholme station, Kendal may have noticed a group of regular grazers living there – a herd of native Fell ponies.

Landscape conservation charity Friends of the Lake District are inviting the public to a free event on Sun 10th May to learn more about the ponies and the conservation work they’re doing on their land on the eastern side of the Helm.

It’s an opportunity to meet the ponies “working” on the Helm and to find out more about this rare local breed and their role in conservation grazing. There will be plenty of children’s activities organised and tea and cake served. Follow signs from the Station Inn end of the Helm to find the Friends of the Lake District tent.

Nicola Evans, who owns the ponies, with her volunteers will be on hand to talk about the ponies as a breed and about the individual ponies present. Nicola said: “The ponies all have very individual characters and great personalities, so do come and meet them, I’m sure it will be a fun event.”

The ponies are grazing on the Helm to help with nature conservation, to encourage more wild flowers. They remove the rank grass growth helping keep an open sward for wild flowers to flourish in. Their large hooves help break up the ground, so seeds from plants have bare ground to germinate in, so helping to increase plant diversity.

Judith Moore, Policy Officer at Friends of the Lake District said: “The ponies are working towards improving nature conservation on the Helm, and we’re also very happy to be helping to support our local native pony breed.”

One of Britain’s hardiest native pony breeds, fell ponies are native to the north of England, and are mostly found in Cumbria, in the old counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, where probably they have roamed from pre-historic times. They graze all year round and are a native rare breed considered to be ‘at risk’.

Event information