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Volunteers get Palegate Meadow ready for the return of the Exmoor Ponies

A small group of volunteers joined Crowborough Town Council’s new Ranger, Dan Colbourne at Palesgate Meadow yesterday to pull ragwort (Wednesday 24th June).

Volunteers getting their instructions

Volunteers getting their instructions

Palesgate Meadow is adjacent to The Ghyll, and was bought by Crowborough Town Council in 2012.

This herb-rich grassland is of a very high nature conservation value for its wildflowers and grasses, but also because it supports a variety of invertebrates and reptiles.

Last year the Meadow was grazed by Exmoor ponies for the first time.  The ponies are good at tackling encroachment by scrub and invasive plants such as gorse, brambles and bracken.   But to get the Meadow ready for the arrival of the ponies later in the year, it was vital that the poisonous ragwort was removed, as if eaten it could damage the animal’s liver.

The group of volunteers, many of whom are also members of Crowborough Conservation, joined Dan to pull the weeds up by the root.

As an incentive to encourage people to go along, Dan offered delicious lemon drizzle cake and cappuccino cupcakes, made by his wife.

For more information about Palesgate Meadow and getting involved in Crowborough Conservation take a look at their website: www.crowboroughconservation.org.

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Ranger Dan Colbourne pulling Ragwort

Volunteers with the pile of Ragwort after a couple of hours work in the Meadow

Volunteers with the pile of Ragwort after a couple of hours work in the Meadow

 

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