01690 720214

Welsh mountain ponies

John Cousins (February)



We came across this mountain pony while out for a lunch time run around Cwm Idwal.
Mountain ponies have grazed the Carneddau in Snowdonia for at least 500 years, and may even be descendents of the ancient Celtic pony but I have never seen them on the other side of the A5 in the Glyders before.

Farmers have kept mountain ponies on the hillsides for generations, and in the 19th century some were even sold as pit ponies to pull trains of coal. Now, however, they have little economic value, and when regulations came into force in 2005 requiring all ponies to have a chip and passport, there was a risk that farmers would not be willing to shoulder the financial burden.
It seems that CCW and Snowdonia National Park then stepped in with funding to ensure that the ponies could continue to graze on the Carneddau.
The ponies are smaller than other breeds, making them hardier and better able to survive the harsh weather. They live in herds of up to 30 mares to each stallion, which are rounded up in the winter so that foals aren't born too early in the year when there's not enough grass for them. Because they're only rounded up once per year, these are the closest thing to wild ponies in the UK.

Welsh mountain ponies also play an important role in maintaining the plant and insect diversity on the rugged mountain slopes. Unlike sheep, the ponies don't eat heather or wild flowers, so the rare upland heath on the summits will benefit, and hopefully in turn, so will birds such as peregrine, merlin, hen harrier and ring ouzel. Lower down the slopes, the ponies keep the grass short enough to provide suitable habitat for the chough. These rare crows also eat the beetle larvae which are found in the ponies' dung.






Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page



Latest News

ENVIRONMENT SYMPOSIUM FOR MOUNTAIN LEADERS

Environment Symposium For Mountain LeadersThe 2017 Plas y Brenin Environment Symposium for Mountain Leaders and Mountaineering Instructors wil....



FAST TRACK INSTRUCTOR SCHEME
OPEN DAYS

Fast Track Instructor Scheme<br/>Open DaysJoin us for a free information day on 18th September and find out how the Fast Track Instructor Sche....



PEAK PERFORMANCE FOR PLAS Y BRENIN PADDLING TEAM

Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....



BMC WOMEN OUTDOORS WEEK 5-15 AUG 2017

BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....



SCOTLAND COURSES 2018

Scotland Courses 2018The dates for our 2018 Scotland Courses have just been released. So if you are looking to gain more ....



What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here



Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.


Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.




Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.



Review your holiday or course here

Review Your Course
Help us by reviewing your holiday or course here


Adventure Map


Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.