The presence of the wild ponies on the heathland is a legacy of the lead mining industry, which flourished in the area in to the early 20th Century. When the mines closed, the ponies were released into the Long Mynd, where they have made their home on its upper slopes. Today they are playing an important rollin Shropshire’s Back to Purple Project, which aims to return the Long Mynd to its natural state.
This image was taken before the light faded on a very cold late afternoon in early spring and I had followed this group for some time before they finally settled to graze. I had managed to get up really close, which is unusual as the wild ponies are pretty isolated and not every exposed to human contact.
The time of day this image was taken and the thin cirrostratus cloud formation have combined to create an interesting stark quality to the light, which reflects the bitter cold of the day. This in turn serves to enhance the colours and tones of the horses and the winter heather, which compliment each other completely as natural camouflage and affirming the wild ponies as part of this unforgiving landscape.