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Wild horses arrive from England to help maintain heathland

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Znojmo, South Moravia, May 10 (CTK) – Eleven wild horses arrived from Exmoor, England, in the Podyji National Park in south Moravia on Thursday to graze on local heathlands and prevent the undesired spread of invasive plants, Marketa Duskova, from the organising Beleco firm, has said.

Beleco has gained a grant for a five-year nature protection project.

The horses arrived in a special transport, covering the distance of over 1,700 kilometres.

They were divided into two herds of five and six heads, each of which has been released in a different locality within the Podyji National Park that spreads along the Dyje (Thaya), a border river between South Moravia and Lower Austria.

The horses are to maintain an area of about 70 hectares.

“Unlike domestic animals, they are not choosy and they graze even on the worst vegetation, including aggressive grass species and invasive bushes. In doing so, they make space for valuable plants and a number of butterfly species depending on them,” said Pavel Marhoul, the project’s supervising expert.

Wild horses have been returning o the Czech nature within the Military LIFE for Nature project aimed to support and preserve rare wildlife species in five former military training areas in various parts of the Czech Republic.

The project is led by the Beleco environmental organisation which cooperates with the Wetland and the Czech Landscape groups.

Two wild horse herds were previously released in the pastures in the former military grounds Milovice, north of Prague.

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