(Opening ceremony Friday 12th May 2000, 11.30am)

Askham Bog is nationally important for its open fen and for plants like meadow rue and great fen sedge, insects like marsh carpet moth and the very rare Dromius sigma, a ground beetle. Much of the site was grazed in Victorian times. The absence of grazing in recent years has put these species under severe threat.

   Exmoor ponies are an ancient and endangered race of ponies that are ideally suited to their present day role as conservation grazers. They will eat the rough vegetation and browse the scrub regrowth, enabling more delicate species to prosper. The ponies will be grazing Askham Bog from May to October this year. Next year, YWT look forward to a mosaic of short and tall fen making the reserve ideal for the full range of plants, insects and birds.

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is restoring additional areas of open fen to breathe life back into ancient habitats and give rare species room to survive. Contact HLF

Near Wood is being fenced under an HLF project with some help through Countryside Stewardship. Contact MAFF for Countryside Stewardship information

Some of the money for the water supply has been promised by William Birch (builders of York) through Yorventure (details from Caroline).

Day Son and Hewitt, manufacturers of equine healthcare products, have generously agreed to support equine conservation grazing by donating an equine welfare starter pack to each new project. Mr Andrew Stockford from Day Son and Hewitt hopes to be able to present the first pack to Mrs Ann Poulsen, EPIC's Yorkshire associate, at the opening ceremony. Contact Day Son and Hewitt


The ponies for this project are being sourced by EPIC (Exmoor Ponies in Conservation).

This is an example of sustainable reserve management. Sustainable grazing with Exmoor ponies in partnership with the local community and with HLF investment, means that the long-term management is more effective and costs less money. YWT are particularly keen to recruit voluntary wardens for Askham Bog. Individuals with experience of native ponies are particularly encouraged to get in touch. EPIC has devised an equine conservation grazing code of practice and full training will be given to help volunteers interpret Exmoor pony behaviour in so far as it indicates health and wellbeing. Further support is available on-line by tele-conference with EPIC.

Contact EPIC: phone 01524 701470, fax 01524 702491, e-mail


Contact Julian Small at YWT for more information: - phone 01904 659570, fax 01904 613467, e-mail

To learn more about Exmoor ponies please click here


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Updated: October 2005.