Following recent enquiries from public about ponies on common land on Gower, we hope this will address people’s concerns …..
The National Trust is the owner of large areas of common land on Gower and is responsible for the upkeep of the land both for its nature conservation and as a source of grazing for the livestock of local landowners with commons rights.
Being the owner of common land is very different to being the owner of private land which is then let to local graziers. Despite being the landowner of these commons the historical legal position is that we have limited control over the livestock themselves. The responsibility for the livestock falls entirely on the owner of the animals.
The situation we have had in the late winter and spring this year is a circumstance of a long winter following a poor summer in 2012. Animals on the commons have found it hard to find sufficient vegetation to graze and subsequently their condition has suffered.
The National Trust in partnership with the RSPCA has been in constant contact with the owners of the animals. The RSPCA has attended many animals and assisted the owners to remove animals when necessary and to regularly observe the animals condition to look for signs of improvement or decline. We know all of the graziers whose animals are on the commons and any sign of an animal in distress is immediately relayed to the owner. This is then followed up with a phone call to the local RSPCA contact so they can begin their own investigations.
The National Trust is obviously extremely concerned about the situation and we would advise that anyone who sees an animal in distress and is concerned about the welfare of these animals contact the local RSPCA.
As mentioned in replies to earlier correspondence, we would be happy to discuss this further if you’d like to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org