Moorland, the Heart of Exmoor
Out on Winsford Hill, one of the best known moorlands of Exmoor National Park, springtime’s verdant blush is rapidly transforming the landscape. Just a few weeks ago the place looked very different – mostly browns and greys – but now the emergence of green is a very welcome unstoppable force, set alight from the sunbathed hedges, woods and riverbanks.
Wherever bilberry’s modest, bell-like flowers are out, they shiver with bumblebees. Lichens on hawthorn twigs, looking tired from winter’s trial, are now outshone by the fresh leaves leaping out of bud. Tiny violets blend into the grass and dandelions add the occasional flash of yellow to gorse’s blaze.
Exmoor Pony foals add to the lively display of spring colour on the moor. The infant ponies look as if they have been annointed with spices. From a distance, I watched one suckle its mother and then celebrate with dozey delight, laid on the ground, stretching… before getting up again to wander with the herd.
This scene is as ancient as the moorland.