Exmoors Native Foxgloves

At this time I look forward to Exmoor’s native Foxgloves.  Rising high in the hedgerows looking spectacular against bracken and beech.  Driving towards Exford there were some good examples to stop and photograph.

There is just a hint of colour in the hills where in August the heather will take on a purple hue.

I took the Porlock road out of Exford following on to the Hill Head Cross signpost at the cattle grid.  Heading for Cloutsham,  again many groups of Foxglove rising from the bracken.  Past the Dunkery walk parking area on the right and down the hill, stopping to park facing Rowbarrows below Dunkery Beacon.  On these hills a sighting of deer is more or less guaranteed and today a large group of hinds spread across above me.  Some lay in the sun and some grazed around and I spotted a couple of deer calves following Mum.

To the left closer to Dunkery Beacon were a herd of about 20 Exmoor ponies grazing with a foal in tow.  Spending some time just sitting watching the animals progress I was aware of no intrusive sounds at all and the occasional Skylark high above.  A walk down Sweetworthy Coombe from here is a favourite of mine which can take you for miles in several directions towards Dunkery or Horner Woods.  In an attempt to not disturb the animals I took a short hike then drove back towards The Exmoor White Horse Inn at Exford.

Many of the usual heathland birds around.  Young birds will have fledged by now to swell numbers.  Skylark, Winchat, Stonechat and Meadow Pippit in abundance.

In the Edgcott area before Exford on the road leading to Westermill Farm is a crooked turning at Silly Bridge where in the past, I have seen Dippers.  The remoteness and fast moving water here give the birds an ideal feeding and nesting area.  Despite watching and hoping for some time none to se

Written by Peter