As with the image I posted yesterday, this shot is the result of another exploration of an area that we have passed many times but never entered. Coming back from Plymouth we drove up onto the edge of Dartmoor through Bickleigh (home of 42 Commando) and Shaugh Prior and on to the area around the village of Sheepstor. We found it hard to believe that for years we could have missed such an attractive area of Dartmoor. We’ll certainly be going back.
This was taken on the high road along the other side of the Upper Plymouth Valley from Sheepstor and Burrator Reservoir. I spotted this pony between the trees, which made for an attractive composition. The direction is Northwest, towards Yelverton, and Bodmin moor behind.
Not everybody realises that all ponies free grazing on the moor are privately owned (by Dartmmor ‘Commoners’), mostly for profit ; they are rounded up once a year (‘drifts”) in the autumn to have their health checked before the winter. Some are sold as conservation grazers (you would be surprised how many you come across on North coast sea cliffs) or riding ponies. Demand for ponies for work (such as pit ponies) is now very little and, due to en export ban currently under review, they are not currently shipped abroad as meat or pet food.