On the southern edge of Dartmoor sits and ancient moorland estate. Known for its vast beauty, this area of Dartmoor is about as unspoilt as you can get, with far reaching views full of big sky and rugged turf of various hues, depending on the time of year you visit.
This 1,000 acre farm is home to 300 Red Ruby Devon cattle managed by Ross, a new entrant farmer who has the busy job of managing this important estate.
“I couldn’t think of living anywhere else, it feels like home. A lot of people my age go travelling, but that’s not for me. I love managing the farm." says Ross, who's passion for this slice of land is clear for anyone to see.
The native cattle graze what's known as the 'common land' a large stretch of wild uninhabited moorland. They are hardy and well equipped to deal with the climate, soil, disease and the food source available where they are grown. They play an important role in nurturing biodiversity. The Red Ruby cattle thrive on the commons, in the harsh conditions because they can look after themselves up there, they are intrinsically part of this rural landscape and have been for centuries.
The cattle spend much of the year living completely wild on Dartmoor, with Ross checking the whereabouts of his stock every day, a task that can be quite a challenge in the notorious thick Dartmoor fog. The cattle are brought down off the moor over winter, as the busy job of calving takes place at the beginning of December.
This farm is such a fabulous example of farming in harmony with nature. The native breed cattle are so intertwined with this landscape, playing a vital role in conserving and regenerating the moorland, as well as providing a future for young farmers like Ross who, like the cattle are so deeply connected to this place.