A Buchan nature reserve has introduced four more wild horses to its herd in a bid to maintain improvements to its wetland habitats.
The RSPB Loch of Strathbeg, near Crimond, drafted in the help of eight konik horses last year to help enhance its conservation work through their natural grazing.
A further four wild horses, including a stallion, have now joined the existing resident herd after staff were so impressed by their ability.
Hardier than their domestic cousins, konik horses are resistant to harsh climates and adept at foraging in the wild.
Experts say their ability to graze on courser grass, sedges and rushes can also help boost biodiversity.
Richard Humpidge, site manager at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg, said: “The koniks are a very popular and important conservation tool, they love to eat the tough vegetation that we used to have to spend a lot of time and money stripping away with machines.
“As they are so effective we’ve decided to increase the herd slowly and naturally through a breeding programme, that way we can monitor their progress and ensure we reach a grazing level that will is beneficial for the thousands of geese, ducks and wading birds that need the wetlands to feed and breed.”
To ensure the koniks can work undisturbed they will once again be kept on the less public areas of the reserve. However, visitors will be able to see them distantly from the hides and follow their progress on the website.