Conservation grazing is the use of semi-feral or domesticated stock to increase biodiversity of natural or semi-natural grasslands, heathlands, wood pasture, wetlands and many other habitats.
Semi-wild equine breeds such as the native Dartmoor, Exmoor and New Forest play a fundamental role in managing the landscape. Their grazing can be used to great effect in managing sites to enhance biodiversity.
Equines are browsers, through their ability to selectively graze and ability to switch to less palatable forage when necessary and with the season they are becoming more popular with government bodies and livestock owners as an asset to wildlife recovery.
Equine grazing can be used anywhere across the UK where a system requires a varied sward structure, from short to longer, tussocky vegetation with bare ground as the desired objective.
Mature native equine breeds thrive where other livestock tend to lose condition
With certain provisos they can graze all year round in extreme environments.
Their dunging, trampling and grazing activities open areas dominated by molinia, bracken and bramble and will knock back woodland encroachment.