|War Department (now Ministry of Defence) boundary marker at edge of Velmead Common|
The area is criss-crossed with tracks, footpaths and "rides", so there is something for everyone. Fortunately motor vehicles are prohibited. I hate to think what it would be like if motorbikes were allowed.
After all the rain we have had over thast few
Wherever you look there are puddles! On Sunday many of them had a thin coating of ice.
On Sunday, with so many people and dogs about, the local wildlife was not much in evidence. I did at one stage see a Jay, but Jays are nervous birds and very fast fliers, so very difficult photo subjects at the best of times. Anyway, one of the reasons I had gone to the common was to see some of its more high-profile inhabitants - the rare-breed cattle.
These cattle have been introduced specifically to assist with the management of the heathland, by grazing it. There are cows of various different types in the herd. I'm not an expert on cattle-identification, so apart from the obvious Highland ones (above), I'm not able to identify the others. I think that the small black-and-white ones may possibly be Dexters.
The cows are very docile. I noticed people patting and stroking them, but they seemed perfectly oblivious to the attention. Many of them were standing in the middle of a track and evidently had no intention of moving to let mere human beings pass by!
The Common is a really fascinating place if you are interested in Nature. I took masses of close-up photos of mosses, lichens, plants, trees etc. So many in fact that I'm going to do a separate post about them, and for now I'll content myself with showing you a few more photos of the general area.
I've saved my favourite photo to last. I like this one because it captures the light conditions so nicely, with the strong sunlight filtering through the screen of tall thin trees, and casting deep shadows. Tell me what you think. Do you like it?