An animal charity which helped save the Exmoor pony from the brink of extinction may have to close its centre because of a lack of funds.
The Exmoor Pony Centre is run by the Moorland Mousie Trust - a charity which was formed in 2000 to help the many unwanted foals which were being slaughtered every year.
The dedicated centre the charity runs near Dulverton on Exmoor has 30 resident ponies and is a place where members of the public can visit and interact with the breed.
Exmoor ponies are classified as endangered and their breeding is carefully controlled - while filly foals are kept for breeding, only a few stallions are needed to keep the population going. Many male foals are at risk of being killed unless they can be re-homed.
Since it opened, the Exmoor Pony Centre has helped find a future for over 300 moor bred foals - either as riding ponies or in conservation grazing herds throughout the UK.
However, the charity says the centre will close at the end of August - unless it can raise a minimum of £20,000.
Our income last year was £50,000. Our outgoings were £60,000. We are struggling to survive.
Because the centre is also the place where the charity can interact with the public, it says it will lose a vital means of raising funds to support the work with the ponies.
Without the Centre, we will no longer be able to open to the public. This will severely impact on our ability to raise funds from activities and events, which ultimately will affect the number of foals we are able to take in. We appeal for your help to enable us to remain open and continue our work with the unique but endangered native Exmoor Pony.
The charity has now set up a crowdfunding campaign to try to keep the centre open, and has raised nearby £6000 so far.