Wild pony safari at Loch of Strathbeg

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TRAVEL into the hidden marshland of Loch of Strathbeg on the hunt for rare Konik ponies on Easter Sunday, April 25.

Many people spend Easter Sunday hunting for eggs, but an RSPB Scotland reserve is this year giving visitors the chance to hunt for something new- wild ponies!

As a special event, RSPB Scotland staff will be running off-road pony safaris, travelling out into the reserve to find the elusive, wild Konik ponies which have recently arrived on the wet marshland habitat.

Visitor officer Diana Spencer said “There has been a huge amount of interest in our new Konik ponies ever since they arrived, and more than 250 people have visited the centre hoping to catch a glimpse of them out on the marshes.

“However, the ponies seem to still be quite shy, and while many visitors have been able to see them from the Visitor Centre the views can be quite distant.

The Easter pony safaris will not only give people a chance to get really close-up views of the ponies, but it will give them a chance to see parts of the reserve that members of the public rarely visit.”

The Konik ponies have been released on to the reserve to eat the rank vegetation and to improve the habitat for geese, swans, ducks and wading birds, like lapwings and curlew, who feed and breed on the wetlands.

As well as viewing the ponies, the safari may give visitors a last chance to see the remaining flocks of pink-footed geese as well as many other birds which live in the quieter corners of the reserve.

Each safari will last approximately an hour and trips will leave the Loch of Strathbeg visitor centre every 30 minutes from 10am to 3pm.

Only four visitors can fit in the safari vehicle per trip so booking in advance is advisable. The pony safaris are free to RSPB members and non-members.

To book please contact RSPB Loch Of Strathbeg on (01346) 532234