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Patience and Ryburn move to Branton

17 January 2013
Two Exmoor ponies, Patience and Ryburn are now residents at CEMEX’s Branton Nature Conservation Area, Nr Powburn Northumberland and have become the site’s ‘natural lawnmowers’.

Branton, a former sand and gravel quarry has been progressively restored and transformed into a stunning 29 hectare nature conservation area and the introduction of Patience and Ryburn will enhance the wildlife on the site through conservation grazing.

Conservation grazing is the use of grazing animals to manage sites of conservation interest. The two Exmoor ponies have been provided by Flexigraze, an innovative social enterprise run by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, who specialize in providing different species of breeds and livestock for grazing on nature reserves and important grasslands.

Extensive grazing at Branton will create a diverse sward, that is land covered with turf or grass, making it richer in plants, insects and invertebrates including butterflies and bumblebees and therefore of benefit to a variety of birds. It can also help ground nesting birds such as lapwings, curlews, yellow wagtails and skylarks, by providing nesting cover.

“Patience and Ryburn are an excellent way of keeping the grass mown. But they do more than just ensuring the area doesn’t become overgrown, they help to increase the biodiversity of the site, which is to everyone’s benefit,”  comments Stephen Comber, Flexigraze.

Conservation grazing at Branton contributes to CEMEX’s Biodiversity strategy which was launched in 2010 and aims to manage and enhance priority conservation habitats to create outstanding areas for people, communities and nature.


For further information contact Elizabeth Young; email: telephone: 01932 583214

Note to editors:

  • Branton Quarry was progressively restored and transformed into a 29 hectare nature conservation area, Branton Nature Conservation Area. It  is located in an area of open countryside designated as an Area of Great Landscape Value close to the hamlet of Branton and on the border of the Northumberland National Park. Prior to extraction the land, which lies within the flood plain of the River Breamish, was used for agriculture. The site has been restored to enhance and complement the surrounding rural area and extraction provided an opportunity of transforming an intensively farmed landscape into a wildlife haven and local community amenity.

  • Flexigraze is an innovative social enterprise, specialising in grazing nature reserves and important grasslands throughout North East England. It is a not-for-profit business, reinvesting any profits back into local conservation grazing.  For more information see
  • Helping to build a Greater Britain – CEMEX’s vision is to help build a greater Britain by providing solutions to construction problems through our innovative building materials, our expertise, our understanding of the construction issues and our people.  We aim to create the best service and the best solutions for a better future.      

  • CEMEX is a global building solutions company and leading supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK, CEMEX also produces asphalt, and has a significant share of the concrete- paving and block sectors. Additionally, the company is the leading supplier of concrete sleepers to the rail industry and a supplier of PFA cement additives. CEMEX has a national supply network in the UK with over 360 locations, to ensure that quality building materials are available to customers locally. For more information, see,

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