Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wild West Wassenaar?

These beautiful horses are lucky enough to graze in the Wassenaar dunes. We've seen them in several locations; this is an area called De Kuil.
According to the coastal guide website, grazing was introduced in 1990 and is seen as a successful technique in dune management.


Lezard said...

Those horses are very nice indeed! I never saw them before in the dunes. Need to pay more attention next time I go and walk there!

Anonymous said...

Are these horses then "wild" or do they belong to an individual or company? It is interesting that they help manage the dunes.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Beautiful horses, nice capture! I love these.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

It does seem a little strange that grazing would help manage the dunes.

I did my Master's theses research on free-ranging horses.

R&R in The Netherlands said...

Lezard: the horses seem to be moved around different areas in the dunes (on purpose), so it's not surprising that you haven't seen them in the past.

Abe, these are Norwegian Fjord Horses (wiki: Fjord Horse). They're not wild but I'm not sure if they are privately owned or if they are owned by the city or dune management agency.

Mary, what an interesting master's thesis -- bet there aren't many free-ranging horses around Detroit!
According to the coastal guide, "grazing causes a decrease of dominant species, which leads to a slight shift in species composition ... Grazing also causes a change in the vegetation pattern from coarse-grained to fine-grained. It is a suitable way of enhancing species-richness in dune grasslands by opening the grassland canopy and the top soil, which is important for the development of various groups of animals, too. Extensive grazing is an excellent management tool in nature conservation and can, instead of other methods such as cutting sods and burning and mowing, easily take place on steep dune slopes and guarantees a more natural and gradual border between the various vegetation types."

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Very interesting.

Thank you for the information! :-D

I only recently moved to Detroit.

I did my horse research in Idaho. :-D