From: the Guardian
The New Forest national park is being destroyed by overgrazing by its ponies, driven in part by taxpayer subsidies, according to Chris Packham.
The naturalist and broadcaster claims that overgrazing by the ponies, as well as cattle and deer, is causing loss of woodland and threatening species in one of the UK’s most important biodiversity hotspots.
“In simplistic terms, we have a New Forest now but we won’t have a New Forest tomorrow because there is simply no regeneration taking place,” said Packham, who has lived in the forest for 12 years.
Packham and other campaigners blame the biodiversity losses on pony numbers which have increased steeply in the last 50 years from around 2,000 in 1960 to around 5,000 today. This has coincided with a loss of woodland and subsequent biodiversity.