This work aims to address the question of the continued survival of ponies on the rugged landscape of Dartmoor. Each year the ponies, owned by local farmers on Dartmoor, are rounded up and sorted for several purposes, including; riding, farming, transport and more recently, they have entered the human food chain. Dartmoor Conservation Meat, an organisation whose aims ultimately are to conserve the ponies, is creating a market for Dartmoor pony meat around Devon. Because of their hardiness, the ponies are able to continue to survive on the moor throughout the whole year, making them fundamental to the conservation of the landscape. By trampling down old bracken and keeping the landscape trimmed, declining species, such as the fritillary butterfly, are able to thrive. By photographing the ponies in their adopted habitat I aim to display their deep affinity with the land. The pony in this image, is confronting the viewer, and (we can imagine), imploring them to consider the ethics of ‘conservation meat’ and whether this course of action really has a role in twenty-first century Britain.

Using Format