"Wild" Polish Ponies Save a Marshland in England

We hear a lot about the dastardly effects of wild horses on the landscape, and that overpopulated wild horse lands in the US West are environmental wastelands.

Consider a story in the April 7 Telegraph newspaper from England about a herd of transplanted Polish ponies that have been turned out in a marshland…and are munching it back to life and biodiversity.

The story of these ponies, called “koniks” is fascinating. They are sort of artificially-bred Tarpans, the original wild horses of Asia. Apparently Hitler viewed them as sort of a pure horse breed, and captured them during World War II for genetic experimentation. But some survived and have been championed by the Polish government.

The Wildwood Trust in the UK obtained a small herd for an experimental land reclamation project, and the results are encouraging. Around here, huge herds of sheep are turned out on islands to clear out the brush (and poison ivy). Polish ponies would be even better…

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