Whilst the Dover Seaways was alongside in berth ED3 on Tuesday, these horses appeared, silhouetted against the skyline on the piece of cliff on the left of the first photo. Looked like something out of the Wild West. By the time I had collected my camera from my cabin, they had moved along to the greensward in the rest of the photos. This is the National Trust property on the top of the White Cliffs. All photos can be viewed full size by left clicking on them.
Yes they have been there some years now I was always up there feeding them I would sit down and they would all come round me because they did get to know me but after packing up work funds got to low for me to keep it and the only ones I feed now are the two left at the bay and I have been doing that for well over 20years I love doing it they take from my hands the N/trust know I do it and I also keep my eyes open as well AND sorry to say that I had to report one last year after finding it very unwell they came out within the hour and it had to be put down very upsetting to both the other horses and myself but they are about 27 to 30years old now and are out all year round with no cover but the N/trust do look after them very well going out each day to look them over but they are wild ones and that is how they always live.
And thank you for putting the photos of them on the forum I keep away from going up there(1) my legs.and (2) I get upset because I can not do it anymore,I know I am a silly old fool for thinking that way but cannot help it.
According to their website, the NT have two herds of Exmoor ponies on the White Cliffs:
There is a lot of concern being expressed on Facebook that some horses are going to be put down at the end of the month. Are these the two you are referring to above, Vic?
(Quote)..... apparently one has already been shot in full view of the other two! The elderly man that regularly gives them treats is very distraught that the other two are being shot at the end of the month and is trying hard to get support to prevent this.
(Quote).......On another site someone has written that one pony is unwell and has to be shot and the other cannot be introduced to other ponies (no idea if that's true). Very sad if this is all true.
If we are talking about the ones over at the bay then it was myself that found the one that had to be put down it is very upsetting for myself to talk about them.
I have been feeding them now for over 20years there are photos on the forum of me doing it.
If found please show them again I was only over there on Friday morning feeding the last two one is very unwell and cannot walk well the other one is OK but they have always been with each other.
You could not put that one with the other ones far to old .I will look into this myself in the morning ad try to find out what is happing.
But again this is very upsetting news to myself after all the years I have summer and winter been seeing to them.
But will say the N/T have over the years looked after them well, they are wild ones and must be treated as such.
I did at time aske for cover to be put up there but was told Vic they would not use it.
THEY are like family to me I feed them by hand and talk to them sorry I must stop now.
I did notice they have put a pen up at the far end out of the public eye so you could be right but I will find out
i find it crass in the extreme to shoot an animal in front of its friends/family and with members of the public around.
found this old thread.
As you can see by the old tread now just come up on the forum there a bond with me and the horses at the bay.
I will into it tomorrow they will have a lot of public up on the cliffs today.
I do not think there is anything I can do to save them if they are the ones at the bay as I said one is very unwell but the other still looks Ok but till I find out what is happing I cannot do a thing .
I will be going over in the morning to feed them again.
Again I will not be posting a lot at this time thank you.
Last time of trying it will not post
I have been over this morning called them they came to where I was siting and I was feeding them by hand one even pushed my hand away so he could get his head in the bag.
I have now been to see the N/trust and sad to say it is true the horses at the bay are to be put down soon.
They going to email over to me a statement that they wish to be put out to the press and the forum So when I get it I will bring it up.
I will say that the story of the one horse that was put down last year was not shot and also not done in front or the public or the other horses.
It was put to sleep first but was never shot.
The rest will come from the N/T themselves.
we do get attached to the livestock on our hills and people comment on what they see out of their windows.
about 5 years ago i was walking through clarendon field and noticed that the konik ponies were in a huddle so sat down and watched what was going on.
turned out that a lady pony was giving birth and when the foal arrived there was no life in it, the other ponies were nudging it with their hooters but no response.
i remembered that emergency numbers were on all gates for all circumstances so i rushed down and made the call.
the vet arrived in no time, just after the foal got up and walked around!!
Sorry to hear that Vic - did the NT staff say why ?
A story with a happy ending Howard - well done, even if it was 5 years ago.
Yes they Did Mr Walkden .
I will not say no more because of the email I will get today from the trust which they have aske me to put on the forum
They have seen what already has been wrote about them.
But it is mainly a age thing they are about 25 to 30 years old and as I have seen for myself they are unwell.
I would to just say thank you to members for showing their concern over them but you can rest a shore that they have always been looked after by the N/Trust and if there was anyway of saving them it would have been done.
O.K. - Thanks Vic. look forward to that NT report.
Sad story ...
You will remember these pix from the archives.
They are the two still at Langton cliffs on the top field I was feed them up till two years ago,
Very sad but understandable after reading this on Facebook......................Gareth from the National Trust sent me a message:
To maintain the chalk grassland in our care we have two herds of Exmoor ponies that have formed part of our conservation team for over 20 years. They graze grass, browse hawthorn berries, young trees and thistle buds to help manage overgrowth and increase the area's biodiversity.
Following the recommendation from our vet, we will sadly have to put down two ponies grazing on Bockell Hill at St Margaret's. Both are suffering with joint disease and have undergone six months of anti-inflammatory treatment which has not improved their condition. The ponies have lived a full life and will be missed by the team, the community and our visitors. The welfare of all the ponies in our care is of the utmost importance to us and our remaining herd will continue to have regular check-ups from the vet to make sure they are in good
I try to be neutral and polite but it is hard at times.
Thank you Mrs Higgins.
I have nothing more to add only to say after the many years of going over there and feeding and keeping a eye on them and at times help moving them from one part across the rd onto the Cliffside then about Oct bring them back to where they are now.
I feel it very hard to think that in a few weeks time I will never be doing it again vey upset about it all.
I am thinking about returning to the ones up at Langton,
Years ago I would sit up there and all of them would stand round me when I was feeding them.
Strode out over the cliffs yesterday, as is my wont (a mere 20 minute walk from the town centre). Noticed that the National Trust has replaced the old water troughs. Not a single pony over Foxhill Down or in Langdon Hole mind: possibly they were nearer the cliff-side, or in the shade somewhere. (Apologies for the mobile phone picture quality).
It also looks like the path down to the beach from Langdon Hole has been re-opened: at least, the temporary barrier had gone:
And it's all very colourful at the moment too (and tuneful, many full-throated Yellowhammers, Whitethroats, Skylarks and Linnets about):
Ed Connell, Brian Dixon, Jan Higgins and 1 more
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'Pass the cow dung, my dropsy's killing me' - Heraclitus
Some views from the cliffs taken yesterday afternoon (and somewhat of an antidote to all the Dover-knockery on other threads):
Ponies on the edge of Langdon Hole:
And, later, by the Coastguard centre at Swingate Battery:
The sound mirrors above Fan Bay:
A contextualising view, with the entrance to the shelter top right (a much younger me and some friends discovered the shelter decades before the National Trust, and had some scary times down there as children):
Some kite-flying at South Foreland:
And a slightly out-of-focus, but gorgeous nonetheless, blue sea:
Yes, Dover really stinks, doesn't it?
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'Pass the cow dung, my dropsy's killing me' - Heraclitus