Who are we?The Moorland Mousie Trust is a small, local charity founded in 2000 by Val Sherwin and Sue Wingate. The trust was named after the Moorland Mousie books written by Golden Gorse, the pseudonym of Muriel Wace.
The book, written in 1929, is a story about the life of an Exmoor Pony called Mousie and was read by Val as a child. On a visit to Exmoor to purchase an Exmoor pony Val became aware that many of the foals, mostly colts, would go to the meat market for slaughter. Although she originally intended on buying one filly foal, when realising what might happen to it's friend she bought him too. They were named Abbi and Yorrick. It was from this experience that an idea was born.
When the charity was founded it's aim was to ensure that no more foals would leave their mothers on the moor to go to the meat market. Since those early days, the work of the trust has moved on to encompass all aspects of Exmoor pony welfare.
The Exmoor Pony Centre, owned by the Moorland Mousie Trust, was opened to the public in the year 2006. Located in the heart of the Exmoor National Park it is the hub of all our activity with the Exmoor Ponies. It provides a permanent and specialised base for the foals when they arrive straight off the moor. It is the home to some 20 of our permanent residents, including Abbi and Yorrick. At our Centre, visitors to Exmoor who might otherwise not be lucky enough to see an Exmoor pony have the opportunity to come into close contact with them.
Funding for the development of the Centre was provided by DEFRA's Rural Enterprise Scheme and the Exmoor National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund.
The Centre is run by a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers.
Incidentally, the Moorland Mousie book, which had been out of print for many years, was re-published by us in 2011. The hardback book, with a foreword from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is available from the Centre or from our on-line shop.