With regard to the bid to remove the ponies from Traprain Law (Courier, November 26), I find it really heart-wrenching, upsetting and worrying that a group of walkers, who clearly enjoy nature and the outdoors, find it distressing to see ponies in their natural habitat and hold them responsible for the deterioration of the paths and would campaign to have them removed so they can walk on perfect paths in rugged terrain.

I have lived in Haddington since I was a little girl and I’m nearly 50 now. I first walked Traprain as a young girl and it inspired me to climb over 200 Munros since.

The path erosion on most of these, including Traprain, is from footfall, not ponies.

I climb Traprain regularly on my own, with a friend and with my children.

We adore the ponies. It is amazing to witness them in their natural environment, roaming freely. They are calm, considerate and a little shy, and they impose no danger or threat to the people that walk there.

They tend to stick to the longer grass and avoid the paths. I have witnessed many humans trudging through the mud on paths, after rainfall, causing more degradation. The ponies are far more sensible.

I wonder what gives people the right to feel in some way more important and superior and that their walks on good paths should be prioritised over the ponies, who naturally graze and keep the grass height down, reducing the risk of wildfires, aiding in flower/shrub growth and adding to the biodiversity of the hillside?

Surely it is about co-existing with animals and respecting these wild places and wild ponies and supporting their cause.

And that is what we should be teaching our children and future generations.

I have worked with and ridden ponies/horses since the age of eight. I have a vast knowledge and experience of horses and the native British Isles breeds.

I missed these Exmoors greatly during lockdown and one of the first things I did when travel restrictions eased was visit Traprain.

I for one – and I know I’m not alone in the community – want to encourage and support the ongoing need for the ponies to live on Traprain and I think the arguments against it are totally superseded by the benefits the ponies bring to so many. It appears to be the selfishness of a select, anonymous few.

Ali Maciver