Yesterdays visit to the SSSI land to check on the ponies needed to be quick as we were due at a family celebration for my mother's 86th birthday. You can therefore imagine how we felt when, on walking through the woods towards the ponies enclosure, we came across some fresh pony sized droppings. Images of a lovely lunch were rapidly replaced with images of having to traipse up and down the valley, through mud and brambles, looking for our charges.
When we got to the enclosure both ponies were there (phew!) but so was another pony. Very odd as the area is really only accessible by stiles or kissing gates and I don't know of any ponies that have managed to negotiate either of these.
Shortly after our arrival a grazing officer form the Old Surrey Downs Project arrived. She had already been told about the extra pony and had been making enquiries with a local horse owner who unfortunately didn't recognise it. She then tried the police who said they could only act if the pony was on the road and then she tried the RSPCA who had no one that could come out as all their officer were in Cumbria helping with animals affected by the flood.
In the end we had no option but to leave him where he was... he was safe, had water and plenty of grass to eat so couldn't come to any harm but the mystery remains...who does this pony belong to and how did he get there?
Daffodils in the snow at Petworth Park
9 hours ago