The highland ponies of Mell Fell


Cruising in to the Northern Lake District along the A66, the first hills of any significance rise suddenly on your left from the relative flatness surrounding them – Great and Little Mell Fell. Both offer pleasant short walks, tucked well away from the hustle and bustle of the more central Lakes fells, with commanding views over large chunks of the Lakes.

Great Mell Fell also happens to host a herd of highland ponies. If you get lucky you might spot them on your walk – they’re often around the summit area. I managed to bump into these majestic beasts on a crisp, clear early morning walk, and managed to get some atmospheric snaps of them at the top.

Don’t be tempted to get overly friendly with them though, and especially, don’t be tempted to feed them. They’ve even been known to ‘bully’ visitors, chasing and surrounding them before headbutting them. This is apparently a behavioural result of people feeding them, so don’t perpetuate any issues!

[Update: May 2022] – The ponies have now been moved by their owner so are no longer on the fell. I’ve also corrected a few details in the article based on the helpful advice of @ruthonthehoof, go check out her stunning photos!


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