In many parts of Europe ash (Fraxinus excelsior) trees are pollarded and their leaves used as fodder for cattle. In the British Isles this use seems to be much less well-known. Therefore a cutting from the Daily Telegraph of 5 December 2012, forwarded by David Bloomfield, of South Weald, Essex, is of interest.
Free-roaming ponies in the New Forest, Hampshire, ‘recognise when the leaves [of ash] are falling and veer miles off their normal routes to get to the nearest ash trees’, remembering locations year after year, and eating so many leaves that they ignore all other food. Anthony Passmore, a member of the ancient court of Verderers, which looks after the Forest, commented: ‘They abolutely love them.’
Image: Radstock, Somerset; August 2014.