Animal Photographic Gallery

This will just be a gallery of photographs that I have been lucky enough to capture in and around Salisbury Plain and on my journeys further afield.

 

I plan to update it periodically with new photographs.  They do say 'never work with animals or children'!

Wiltshire Horn Sheep - 22.03.20


The Wiltshire Horn sheep is the original no-shearing sheep: the traditional choice for the 21st century.  It has the strengths of a native lowland breed, combined with low maintenance and low input costs, and has the ability to meet the most stringent requirements of the modern sheep industry, in both the commercial and smallholding sectors.


The current growth in popularity of the breed is primarily due to it’s ability to shed it’s fleece. The Wiltshire Horn has a short fleece that naturally sheds in the spring leaving a short hair coat. The fleece will then grow again in the autumn to offer protection during the winter months. In an industry where wool production has become uneconomic the advantages of self shedding sheep are clear to see. The labour costs associated with wool are drastically reduced with no need to gather sheep for shearing, dagging or dipping.


As well as gaining popularity for their easycare characteristics, the large framed ewes are good, milky mothers and are equally suited to indoor and outdoor lambing systems.  Both purebred and crossbred lambs have remarkable vitality at birth and will finish off grass growing to heavy weights without putting on excess fat. This ability of the Wiltshire Horn ewe to produce crossbred butchers lambs is now becoming appreciated more generally across the industry, even leading to showing successes at primestock events.


It is of course a very old native breed and up until the end of the eighteenth century was the predominant breed to be found on the Wiltshire Downs. At that time the sheep were able to roam freely, doing well on the poor terrain which offered little shade or protection. It is this background that has given the breed it’s hardiness and resilience.


The breed was saved from extinction by a small group of enthusiastic breeders who formed the Wiltshire Horn Sheep Society in 1923.  The breed prospered until the early 60’s when trade declined due to the soaring value of pelts of the other main breeds. In the 1970’s the breed came under the protection of the RBST because numbers were so low.


In recent years the number of registered sheep has significantly increased and so the breed has developed into the large commercial flock it is today. During the last twenty years the breed has progressively moved forward as sheep quality has improved and flock masters have appreciated the self shedding benefits which are increasingly important to those wishing to develop low maintenance, and low input sheep systems. Stock have been exported to Australia, New Zealand, South America, West Indies, and there is a growing flock throughout Europe.

AMWA Training - 06.02.20


On one of my visits to Salisbury Plain early one morning, out of the mist came Catherine Murray and her boy Solo in temperatures of minus 3 at sunrise.

Alpacas - Figheldean - 29.01.20


Driving along the main road I saw this beautiful pair who were only to pleased to pose!


The alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a species of South American camelid descended from the vicuña. It is similar to, and often confused with, the llama. However, alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas. The two animals are closely related and can successfully cross-breed. Alpacas and llamas are related to the guanaco. There are two breeds of alpaca: the Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca.


Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to sheep's wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia, and 16 as classified in the United States.


Alpacas communicate through body language. The most common is spitting when they are in distress, fearful, or mean to show dominance.  Male alpacas are more aggressive than females, and tend to establish dominance of their herd group. In some cases, alpha males will immobilize the head and neck of a weaker or challenging male in order to show their strength and dominance.

 

Red Highland Calves with Parents - 21.01.20


These photographs were taken today at 08:00 on Sidbury Hill Fort, Salisbury Plain with temperatures this morning of -5.  These are new born Red Highland Calves and Parents and are used to this cold weather.


I do get very close to these animals and have done for sometime, thanks to the local Farmer for his co operation, but although they look very cuddly, they are well guarded by their parents who have fearsome horns.


They are in a fenced SSSI and a delicate area.  Dog walkers etc are asked to remember, that bylaws do apply and animals should be given a wide birth while they have their young with them.

 

Larkhill Down - Minus 4 - 20.01.20


I was on Larkhill Down at 07:45 this morning at -4 just before sunrise.  This little calf was pleased to see me.


As you can see I was in the field with him, this is not advisable.  I see these animals regularly and they do get used to me talking and being with them, but you cannot trust them.


All animals are very protective and unpredictable, as you will see, the mother and father are both watching me.      

 

The other animals are on the move having been supplied breakfast.

Sheep in Stubble Field - n/r Netheravon - 16.01.20


This flock of sheep are near Netheravon where they are strip grazing stubble turnips.

Tilshead Village - Sheep on the Move - 14.01.20


These photographs were taken this morning in Tilshead Village as local residents moved their sheep.


The traffic all stopped to watch the spectacle of the sheep being herded through the village, amazing how obedient they are when shown a bowl of food.

Black Welsh Mountain Sheep on Salisbury Plain - 05.12.19
 
Possibly not rare, but certainly an unusual site of quite a sizeable flock not often seen out on Salisbury Plain.
 
In the Middle Ages, the mutton of black-fleeced Welsh Mountain Sheep was prized for its richness and excellence and much sought-after by merchants.  During the mid-19th century, some breeders began to select specifically for the black fleece colour and the result is the Black Welsh Mountain sheep.
 
The Black Welsh Mountain is a small, black sheep with no wool on the face or on the legs below the knee and hock.  It is the only completely black breed of sheep found in the United Kingdom.
 
Introduced into the U.S. in 1972, the fleece from the Black Welsh Mountain has generated special interest among hand spinners and weavers.
 
Black Welsh Mountain Sheep are a small dual purpose breed that provides excellent mild mutton and a completely black, dense, durable fleece.
 
Mature ewes average 100 lbs while mature rams can range from 132-143 pounds.
 
There is no restriction on breed height but most purebred animals are relatively short, typically measuring between 20-30 inches at the shoulders.
 
The ewes are polled and the rams have an impressive set of horns. The tails must be kept long and undocked in purebred animals.
 
The worldwide  population of Black Welsh Mountain sheep is approximately 10000. They are found in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as the smaller North American population.
 
The current North American population numbers approximately 800 animals in over 50 flocks in the U.S. and Canada.

Laughing Cow! - 04.12.19

On one of my trips on the Plain, a Farmer told me to go and see her 'laughing cow'!  Duly I went down to the field and yes I found the 'laughing cow'!

 

 

Farmer, Mr Ian Parsons Delivering Breakfast - 02.12.19
 
These photographs were taken early this morning on Salisbury Plain.  Mr Ian Parsons, Farmer at Upper Farm Milston, was out in temperatures of -4, delivering the breakfast to one of his suckler herds of cattle.
 
Ian kindly allowed me to access his field with him, to obtain these photographs.

Spotted - 29.11.19

 

These beauties spotted on one of my trips out on the Plain!

Camels in the Woodford Valley! - 29.11.19


I met these ladies with two, 2 year old camels which have arrived to join Therese and Timujen, both curious and intelligent bactrian camels, all out for a walk.

 

Suckler Herd on Salisbury Plain

Sunset on Salisbury Plain - 10.10.19


A few sunset photographs taken this on Salisbury Plain.


We have counted as many as 70 Stone Curlews locally, now flocking together, ready for them to migrate to Africa at the end of the month.

Suckler Herd on Salisbury Plain - WDP 05.10.19

Sheep at Sunrise - Upper Farm, Milston - 22.10.19


This photograph was taken early this morning.

 

Red Highland Longhorn Calves - 23.09.19
 
Farmer Mr John Ponzo has several Red Highland Longhorn calves again this year on Salisbury Hill.

Wedding Horses - 21.09.19

 

On a drive back home through Shrewton I came across these beautiful horses, carriage and of course bride!

New Born Calf - 20.09.19
 
This photograph was taken just 30 minutes after the calf was born and the calf was standing and walking in just minutes.  Thank you to the Parsons family for their assistance.

Belted Galloway Cattle - 11.09.19


I took a diversion  off the A36 today, due to its closure and as  I drove through Tytherington, I came across this herd of Belted Galloway cattle.  They were once considered to be a 'rare' breed but luckily their numbers have risen enough to drop this title. 


The Belted Galloway is a traditional Scottish breed of beef cattle.  It derives from the Galloway cattle of the Galloway region of south-western Scotland and was established as a separate breed in 1921.  It is adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region.


The Belted Galloway is thought to have developed the belt from crossing with the Lakenvelder in the seventeenth century.  The Belted Galloways were originally part of the main Galloway herd book but a separate Belted Galloway Society was formed in 1921.


A stocky breed with a thick, shaggy coat and face giving the Belted Galloway a “teddy bear” appearance. The breed is medium sized.  Cows weigh around 550kg and bulls 850kg.  The coat colour is usually black with some dun and some red animals.  The famous belt is white in colour and runs over the middle of the animal. 


Extremely hardy and adaptable to a wide range of habitats and environmental conditions, the Belted Galloway has proven value for both conservation and commercial use.


A gentle, placid nature and attractive appearance makes the Belted Galloway a very useful animal for grazing sites with public access.


Many hill farmers keep herds of Belted Galloways because their distinctive markings makes them easier to spot on the hill.  On Dartmoor, there are stories that some farmers switched to Belted Galloways as their white stripe makes them more visible to motorists at night.


Belties have a double coat.  This means that as well as the longer outer hairs, they have a soft ‘mossy’ undercoat. This helps them to keep warm and dry. It means that Belties don’t have to grow a thick layer of fat under their skin to keep warm, which makes the beef much better.

 

Escapees - 13.05.19

 

Whilst out on the Plain I came across these little escapees!  Grass is always greener on the other side, especially if it has been cut just for you and you have a whole field to yourself!!

 

Highland Cattle - 26.03.19


I found these highland cattle on Sidbury Hill, Salisbury Plain.  


The calves are less than a day old.  They can be already seen running around, altough a little wobbly but very inquisitive.


Yes I do get very close to these animals and have done for sometime, thanks to the local farmer, for his co operation, but although they look very cuddly, they are well guarded by the parents who have fearsome horns.


The cattle are in a fenced SSSI area.  Dog walkers etc are asked to remember, that bylaws do apply and animals should be given a wide birth while they have their young with them. 

 

Sheep and Lambs in Chitterne - 02.03.19


I took these photographs of ewes with their lambs in Chitterne.  Among all of them was a very distinctive ewe with her lamb, which I have since found out is a Kerry Hill ewe.  She is the one with black eyes and knees!!


The Kerry Hill hail from the village of Kerry, in Wales. They are a very distinctive breed, with unique colourings. They have a white face, with black markings around their mouths, eyes and ears!  The breed is a completely polled breed, while they have white wool.  Their legs are also white, with black markings. 


They are a sturdy breed, medium sized, with ewes weighing up to 65kgs and rams slightly heavier. The average fleece of this breed weighs, 2.75kgs.  They have a brilliant lambing percentage, sometimes up to 175%.  Lambs have an excellent growth rate, due to the high quality of the ewe's milk. 


Lambs can reach up to 16kgs at 12 to 14 weeks old!  The Kerry hill sheep are the king of the mountains of Wales and they are beautiful to look at too!

If you have any queries or wish to purchase a photograph, please contact me:

 

+44 7831237759

dcrh@supanet.com

 

If you wish to send a donation to the Alzheimer's Society, please print out and send with a form from their dedicated page.  This will inform the Society that your donation came via this website!  

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  • Eleanor firmstone (Thursday, January 23 20 09:20 am GMT)

    Hi, do you have any information on the steam roller ru7342. We now own the roller and wondered what year this was taken.
    Thanks Eleanor

  • Sarah Mitchell (Wednesday, September 11 19 10:31 pm BST)

    Hi there is a wonderful picture you took of a dear friend of mine on his journey to the gdsf this year. It is in the western daily press dated 22/08/19 Carl Brown roading the Marshall to gdsf. I cannot locate this picture on any website to purchase and was hoping i could purchase through yourself many thanks Sarah

  • John Baines (Friday, April 05 19 03:45 pm BST)

    Have you any photogaphs of James & Crockerills yard in Durrington? Their MD Peter Barber owned the Burrell Scenic Road loco 'Prince of Wales@ and other engines including Burrell roller 'Daffodil'

  • Zoe Read (Saturday, March 02 19 07:08 pm GMT)

    I see you already have dates for this one but I wondered if you would consider adding Purbeck Rally to your event list?
    9th -11th August
    worgret road, wareham, dorset, BH20 6AB
    Raising funds for Forest Holme Hospice Charity & other local causes.

  • Andrew Gray (Wednesday, February 20 19 07:55 pm GMT)

    Is that Mr Dimmer and the train made at Durrington Sec Modern, I started there 1963 and left 1968. Mr Dimmer (Regg) was such a great teacher. Wonderful set of images to treasure. p.s we met today at the Boscombe Down Tornado fly past.

  • Jamie (Saturday, September 01 18 01:39 am BST)

    Hi!

    I am Jamie. One of the coalomen from last weeks steam fair. I know you mentioned taking lots of photos of us and it would be lovely to see them. Please get back to me when you can with prices ect i will most certainly purchase a few! In the meantime i will admire wgat you have on your page here already, hope you enjoyed the show! Speak soon

    Regards
    Jamie

  • Don Russell (Friday, August 17 18 08:51 am BST)

    Hullo, found your site when looking for GDSF info. I was wondering if you had any information regarding engines travelling to the GDSF. I read engines will be raising money for cancer on there journey but I cannot find any info regarding route and timings.Thanks

  • Brian Moore (Saturday, August 04 18 12:40 pm BST)

    Thanks David: Brian

  • Peter Freeman (Thursday, May 10 18 09:56 pm BST)

    Fantastic site, easy to read and great pics! Keep up the good work.

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