Page 3 - Submission: Public Payment for Public Goods, Semi-wild Dartmoor Hill Pony herds
P. 3

the Bronze Age.

               2      e)   Semi-wild Dartmoor Hill Pony herds are crucial to the UK because:
                               ◊  they are genetically rare

                               ◊  they are in place to graze for biodiversity in upland regions where cattle

                                  may no longer be available.

               3.          Recommendations for Action

               3      a)   Pay as a Public Good £78 per year per semi-wild Dartmoor Hill Pony or breed
                           society Dartmoor Pony grazing on Dartmoor commons.  Estimated total £93,600

                           per annum.

               3      b)   Value pony-grazing for conservation and development of upland biodiversity as
                           equal to cattle-grazing within agri-environment and SSSI schemes.

               4.          Detailed Discussion

               4      a)   Negative Impact of Agri-environment Schemes to date

                        i)  The Higher Level Stewardship agri-environment scheme (2008-present) included

                           an optional prescription (incentivised by extra payment) if a minimum of 50% of
                           the grazing units allowed on Dartmoor commons were cattle.  The intention of

                           this prescription was to reduce the number of sheep grazing.  On the few UK

                           uplands where semi-wild ponies live, the impact of this prescription was to

                           incentivise the culling of the pony herds to make way for cattle.
                       ii)  The reduction of the number of animals allowed to graze Dartmoor commons

                           under SSSI rule and agri-environment schemes over the past 25 years has led

                           hill-farmers to choose animals reaching the  highest market price.  Semi-wild

                           ponies have a lower market value than both cattle and sheep, resulting in herds
                           being culled to make way for cattle and sheep.

               4      b)   Not sustained by market

                        i)  The traditional markets for Dartmoor semi-wild  pony herds are  lost:   working

                           beasts on farms, quarries and mines;  food to mainland European markets.
                       ii)  The modern market for Dartmoor’s  semi-wild  ponies, as riding and driving

                           ponies, is diminishing – experienced across the UK.

                       ii)  The modern market for Dartmoor’s semi-wild ponies sold as food is growing but

                           is, as yet not big enough to sustain the moor-wide herds.  See Dartmoor pony
                           meat products here:

   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8