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'!
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.
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!
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