This is why you shouldn't feed the ponies at Cleadon Hills
South Tyneside District Council is reminding walkers and families not to feed the ponies, who reside at Cleadon Hills from November to Easter.
Their job is to eat the vegetation on the site and if people do feed them they could become a nuisance.
The ponies are a ‘hardy native breed’ and people don’t need to worry about them in chilly conditions.
As families have been heading to Cleadon Hills on their daily walks during lockdown or to have some fun sledging in the snow, the council is reminding visitors to be mindful of the ponies and to stay clear of them.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “People need not worry about the ponies in these chilly conditions. They have been coming on site every winter since 2015 as part of our management of the site and remain there until Easter.
“We would like to reassure people that the ponies are checked on regularly and get everything they need from the land, even when it is covered in snow.
“They are a hardy native breed, with thick winter coats, and are equipped to break through snow for food so no supplementary food is necessary. Feeding the ponies will not only detract them from doing their job of eating the vegetation but could cause them to approach people for food and potentially become a nuisance.
“We would encourage people using Cleadon Hills to be mindful of the ponies, to stay clear of them and avoid providing them with additional food.”