Watch: the stunning sight of saltmarsh ponies taking a swim
To anyone who knows the estuary of North Gower, marsh ponies will be a familiar sight.
Grazing on the tidal expanse between Crofty and Penclawdd and the coastline of Loughor, Llanelli and Burry Port, the ponies live a rugged life which at times can be hard, especially at high tide.
The Loughor Estuary is where the Aber Lliw flows into Carmarthen Bay and is a rich habitat for bird and sea life, particularly important to the cockle industry on the North Gower.
Grazing land was reclaimed from the estuary by the planting of cordgrass which spread vigorously, providing salt marsh conditions ideal for grazing cattle, sheep – home of salt marsh lamb – and the ubiquitous ponies.
Over the years there have been fears for the safety of the ponies and livestock grazing on the marsh with groups working to protect them from the very high tides and calls for animal owners to restrict their grazing to low tide times.
Although there can be moments of great peril, however, there are often moments of great beauty and wonder as the ponies get around their natural environment.
One such moment was captured this week by Melanie Lloyd who said she was out for a coffee in Penclawdd and happened to see some pony poetry in motion.
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