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Newborn foal ‘forced off a cliff’ after people tried to take photographs, farmer claims

todaySeptember 13, 2023 2

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Newborn foal ‘forced off a cliff’ after people tried to take photographs, farmer claims

A newborn foal has been “forced off a cliff” after people approached to take photographs, a farmer has claimed.

The foal – only born earlier that day – fell onto the beach in the Gower, South Wales.

The National Trust has reminded people to follow the Countryside Code and give horses space.

Nicky Beynon’s family have been farming the Gower for hundreds of years.

He told Sky News the foal was “still learning to stand and get to his feet”.

“People just crowd around … and just start taking photographs,” he said.

“The mother is distressed and there’s only one way to get away from the humans is to keep backing back out the way and on one side you’ve got a cliff and one side you’ve got humans and the foal just tumbled over the top.”

Mr Beynon said it was distressing to see the foal’s mother, who was “absolutely frantic”.

“It took her over a week to settle down from her loss, that’s the disturbing part,” he said.

A horse grazing on the Gower. Pic: Robert Morgan

Image:
A horse grazing the Gower. Pic: Robert Morgan

Most people who visit the area are respectful, Mr Beynon said, but some showed little consideration.

“In my opinion, people have lost their way in the countryside a bit with respect for how to treat it and the animals that live in it,” he added.

“If their dog kills a sheep they just grab the dog and run away so they don’t get caught.

“People have got no responsibility at all anymore in the countryside.”

Fellow farmer Robert Morgan helps look after Mr Beynon’s horses on occasion.

He said seeing a newborn foal die on a beach was “horrendous”.

“It wasn’t given the time to settle, to bond to his mum, and got pushed over,” he said.

“We love people embracing what we are lucky to see every day that’s in the Gower, the views, the sea, the horses, the animals, the wildlife.”

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Mr Morgan said that – while the farming community wanted to share the beauty spot with visitors – there needed to be more education about life in the countryside.

“We love seeing people down there … but just please, please give them their space,” he said.

“We ask everyone that visits Rhossili to follow the Countryside Code and observe a few simple guidelines,” a spokesperson from National Trust Cymru, Gower said.

“Be mindful of all the creatures here by giving them space, that includes the horses, ponies and sheep.

“And help us to protect this place for everyone to enjoy by keeping dogs on short leads around animals, closing gates and taking your litter home with you.”

Written by: Newsroom

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