The Exmoor Trust has supported the Moorland Mousie Trust - which runs the Exmoor Pony Centre - with start up office costs and has also made donations to help with the cost of winter feed and bedding for the Exmoor ponies.
We also supported the DNA profiling project back in 2000. The charity receives no funding from either the National Park or from The Exmoor Pony Society. All of its income comes from private donations or grants from outside organisations. The Exmoor pony is a rare breed and an important part of the heritage of Exmoor National Park. The ponies also provide an important role in conservation grazing of the moorland. Below is a little more information on who they are and why they were set up.
The Moorland Mousie Trust is a small, local charity founded in 2000 by Val Sherwin and Sue Wingate. The trust was named after the Moorland Mousie books written by Golden Gorse, the pseudonym of Muriel Wace.
The book, written in 1929, is a story about the life of an Exmoor Pony called Mousie and was read by Val as a child. On a visit to Exmoor to purchase an Exmoor pony Val became aware that many of the foals, mostly colts, would go to the meat market for slaughter. Although she originally intended on buying one filly foal, when realising what might happen to its friend she bought him too. They were named Abbi and Yorrick. It was from this experience that an idea was born. When the charity was founded it's aim was to ensure that no more foals would leave their mothers on the moor to go to the meat market. Since those early days, the work of the trust has moved on to encompass all aspects of Exmoor pony welfare.
The Exmoor Pony Centre, owned by the Moorland Mousie Trust, was opened to the public in the year 2006. Located in the heart of the Exmoor National Park it is the hub of all our activity with the Exmoor Ponies. It provides a permanent and specialised base for the foals when they arrive straight off the moor. It is the home to some 20 of our permanent residents, including Abbi and Yorrick. At our Centre, visitors to Exmoor who might otherwise not be lucky enough to see an Exmoor pony have the opportunity to come into close contact with them.
Funding for the development of the Centre was provided by DEFRA's Rural Enterprise Scheme and the Exmoor National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund.
The Centre is run by a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers.
For further information visit www.exmoorponycentre.org.uk