Afternoon walk over Long Valley

Long Valley open pine woodland

Long Valley open pine woodland

Long Valley Dexter cattle

Long Valley Dexter cattle

Long Valley open grassland

Long Valley open grassland

I would normally enter Long Valley by crossing a bridge from the Basingstoke Canal, but as I had Sunday lunch at The Foresters in the middle of nowhere, I crossed the road from The Foresters and entered Long Valley from a different direction.

Long Valley is an area of heathland, heath grassland, pine and oak woodlands, gorse.

A decade ago, vast swathes of pine trees were cut down. The area is now grazed, it was Highland cattle, now Dexter cattle, strange small dark brown almost black cows with a broad white stripe around their middle.

Dexter cattle are a rare breed that originated in the South West of Ireland. Like the Kerry, they are descended from the predominately black cattle of the early Celts. The smallest native breed of cattle in the British Isles

Heather was in flower, the area I walked did not have large areas covered in heather, merely isolated clumps.

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