New arrival at Meeth Quarry to delight of Devon Wildlife Trust staff.

A new four-legged member of staff has joined Devon Wildlife Trust at the charity’s Meeth Quarry nature reserve, near Hatherleigh.

Early on Monday morning one of its six pedigree Exmoor ponies gave birth to a colt foal, with mother and son doing well.

“I’ve been on ‘foal watch’ for awhile now, but of course the baby arrived very early on Bank Holiday Monday when no one was around,” said nature reserve officer Ian Chadwick.

“Our next job is to name the foal. With the mother being called ‘Liquorice’ we plan to carry on with a tradition of sweet names. The frontrunners at the moment are ‘Fudge’, ‘Toffee’ and ‘Rock’.

“The herd are our unpaid workforce at Meeth. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week munching the rank grasses and scrubby shrubs which would otherwise quickly overwhelm the nature reserve’s open areas.”

Meeth Quarry is Devon Wildlife Trust’s most recent acquisition, purchased in December using funds from Viridor Credits Environmental Company and local donors. At 150 hectares it is one of the largest of its reserves.

The charity has installed trails for walkers, wheelchair users and cyclists, linking to the Tarka Trail which passes through the site.

A free open event is taking place at the reserve on Friday, May 31 between 10.30am and 4.30pm, with all welcome.