Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust – Dartmoor ponies ‘a platform for learning’

P1060413 copyEarlier this year the DPHT were visited by Carol Mason, a Member of Soroptimist International based in Liverpool. Carol as a Trustee of a Charitable Trust that has been assisting the Charity with funding, recommended that the DPHT contacted the Torquay & District SI to both inform others of their work, but to seek more volunteers to become involved with them.

Clare Stanton suggested that we organise a visit to Parke to see the work of their organisation: to preserve the Dartmoor pony on Dartmoor and to use their Dartmoor ponies as the ‘platform for learning’ for young people with a variety of abilities and disabilities.

Members of the Torquay & District Soroptimist International ventured out on a wet & windy Tuesday to the Parke Estate, Bovey Tracey and after a superb lunch at the Home Parke Café, were met by Clare Stanton and Judy Fawcett who talked us through the programmes that they run and how they work.

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Later we walked to the visitor centre where we met Dru Butterfield and her team of volunteers and were able to watch a school group in action working with the Dartmoor ponies.

We were all amazed at the Dartmoor ponies, the students and the work that goes into the sessions.  We hope that the students continue to bond with these sensitive animals and achieve new life skills which will help them improve their personal development.

By visiting the DPHT Soroptimist’s were happy to support the non-formal learning opportunities on offer at the centre.

Hopefully in 2016 we will be able to meet again to visit the Bellever Conservation area to enjoy a walk around this moorland site.

Cheryl Rider Dartmmor Pony Heritage Trust