WILD Exmoor ponies will soon me making themselves at home on a South Tyneside nature reserve.
The animals, which are part of a trial conservation grazing scheme, will be in place on Cleadon Hills early next month.
The ponies, whose arrival was approved by South Tyneside’s decision-making cabinet, earlier this month, will stay until Easter.
They will then be brought back in November for another few months until Easter 2016.
Work is now being carried out to install gates and fencing on the hills, along with a water supply, before the animals arrive.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Work is currently under way to install a water supply, kissing gates and fencing ahead of the ponies arriving in early February.”
There have been fears that the arrival of the ponies may cause problems for dog walkers in the area.
Some residents were worried about the welfare of the ponies.
However, council bosses have previously said the animals will be monitored closely and the dogs and ponies will generally ignores each other.