11 Aug The Polish horse in the service of ecology. The animals will help restore the natural conditions on the Nida River
Not mowers and heavy equipment, but beautiful and gentle Polish horses will be mowing meadows in Umianowice. The animals are to please the eye and… help scientists to restore natural conditions on the Nida River.
13 hectares of lush meadows and forests right on the bank of the Nida River have become the new home of a herd of Polish horses. Among them are stallions, fillies and four foals born this spring. The herd of 15 individuals is part of the Delta4life project, which is implemented by the Complex of Świętokrzyskie and the Nida River Landscape Parks Naturalists are working to restore the unique natural features of the Nida Delta. From now on, the horses’ job is simply to… eat.
– Eating grass doesn’t get that grass to grow from year to year, creating a layer of dead, withered plants that results in under-supply of light and vigor to the ground. And thanks to the fact that it is regularly removed, the natural cover of fresh and wet meadows will develop – explains Marcin Słoma from the Świętokrzyskie and the Nida River Landscape Parks
Horse grazing will help restore proper hydrology to the meadows, which should be periodically flooded in these areas. This will make the soil more fertile and allow many more plant species to grow in the meadows.
Meadows near Umianowice abounding in lush grass are an ideal place for horses, which feel best in open areas. – It is a primitive breed, resistant to diseases, long-lived horses – adds Bogusław Wojtasik from ŚiNPK.
Polish horses are the only indigenous, original breed of horse directly descended from wild tarpans, which still lived wild on the territory of present-day Poland in the 19th century.