Published: 00:00, 07 December 2006
WILD horses once bred by the Nazis have been released on to a nature reserve in Canterbury.
The herd of Konik horses were brought into England from Holland and are the closest living relatives of the Tarpan, an extinct species which roamed the country in prehistoric times.
The Wildwood Trust, which rescues animals and re-establishes their colonies, oversaw the introduction of the Koniks to the marsh land which lies beyond Toddlers’ Cove.
Trust director Peter Smith said: “The scheme will see the wild horses restore an area of grazing marsh and over time the site will become a haven for rare plants, animals and birds.
“Wildwood pioneered the re-introduction of these amazing animals and brought the first of their breed to the UK.”
Between the two world wars, the Nazis stole whole herds of the Koniks from Poland and tried to breed them to create a genetically pure race of horses.
They were rescued by Polish scientists and now many of them live on nature reserves in Holland.