Welcome to Longmead House

Wildlife of Exmoor
At any time of year you can see the wildlife of Exmoor. It is a home and habitat of many creatures large and small. With a variety of habitats including moorland, coastline, rivers and streams for wildlife to inhabit throughout the year, Exmoor is home to an amazing variety of wildlife.

Exmoor Ponies
They are one of a number of British native ponies and a common sight on Exmoor, where several managed herds graze the rough pasture. The ponies are only ‘wild’ in the sense that the herds roam freely on the moor, for all the ponies belong to someone. There are around twenty different herds that run on the various commons of Exmoor, two of which are owned by the National Park. Locally, you can often see a herd up on Countisbury Hill and Barnna Barrow.They feed on the moorland heather and plants and they find plenty of streams to drink from all year round, Please be careful when driving across the moors , especially at night, as they will wander across the road and you don’t want to hit one.
For a chance to get up close to the ponies, visit the Exmoor Pony Centre at Ashwick near Dulverton, or join one of the many events organised locally throughout the summer.

Feral Goats Valley of Rocks
A few minutes’ walk along the road from Longmead you will enter the Valley of Rocks,a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Site of Special Geological Interest. Here you will spot a herd of feral goats that live and roam free in the Valley all year round.the goats are even mentioned in the Domesday Book and in the novel Lorna Doone. To ensure its conservation, the unusual and rare herd has been supported by the Lynton Feral Goat Preservation Society since 1997.

Highland Cattle
Highland Cattle were initially introduced to Exmoor in 1826 when 700 were brought in from Scotland for commercial purposes. However, the herd suffered from food shortage on the moors in winter and the cattle were maintained only for 20 years, being sold at local markets for premium prices. Eventually, they started to become too wild and unmanageable and it was decided to end the experiment and send them all to market. In recent years, they have been reintroduced to Exmoor in an effort to support British native breeds at risk. The herd has been breeding very successfully and can be spotted on the moors north of Exford.
Devon ruby Red can often be found grazing across the moors too with their distinctly rich ruby red coats they can blend in with the moorlands around . Often referred to as Red Rubies due to their deep red-brown colour, Devon cattle are a native breed originating from The Westcountry. They are often seen in fields  and farms with a rich history and wide geographic spread, the Devon national herd is thriving – producing premium beef which you can purchase locally.

Red deer
These shy creatures have survived on Exmoor since pre-historic times. Exmoor was once a Royal Forest with strict Forest Law which protected the deer in order to maintain a supply of venison and a hunting ground for the king.There are about three thousand deer on Exmoor, living on moorland and farmland, and using the woodlands for cover. Red deer are the largest wild land animals in England. Adult stags stand about 115 cm at the shoulder. Hinds are about 15 cm less. Only stags grow antlers. They shed them in April and early May and new ones start to grow immediately. As the stag gets older, the antlers have more 'points' until they reach old age and start to 'go back'.
Calves are born in June and July, and are usually born in moorland vegetation or by the edge of woodland. A single calf is normal and twins very rare. For a few days the calf will lie quietly, well-camouflaged with dappled spots on its russet coat looking like sunlight on dead bracken.  Soon it is strong enough to run with its mother and join the herd. They keep together for a year or more.
Red deer eat a wide variety of food, including young shoots of heather, whortleberry, brambles, saplings and grass. They also feed on acorns, fungi, berries and ivy as well as farm crops. If you are lucky and patient you can spot them around the moors.

Whilst Exmoor is famous for one particular Otter – Tarka. You may be lucky enough to actually see other otters along the many isolated streams and rivers that meander across the moors. Otters are normally solitary animals, except for breeding. Constantly travelling along the rivers they employ a system of scent marking to leave messages for each other. Otters usually inhabit clean flowing water ( rivers or streams) with a supply of fish for them to feed on. Don’t worry if you can’t see one in the wild ( very few people do) you can always visit Exmoor zoo to watch them frolicking about their own beach and pool andthey even have their ownjacuzzi too.

ExmoorBirds of Prey
Exmoor is a birdwatcher’s paradise. At the top of the food chain, there are a good number of England’s birds of prey. Buzzards are the most common of these. They can be seen soaring high in the Exmoor sky, riding on the thermals and breeze, seeking out carrion and sometimes live prey. There are also many kestrels, often seen hovering over the moor then diving down to catch small rodents. Red kites occasionally put in an appearance, and can easily be mistaken for a buzzard at a distance, but it is their forked tail that gives them away. There are a few peregrines, especially along the coast, and sometimes one sees a hobby. In the winter time it is often possible to see short eared owls. Again if you are not lucky enough to see these magnificent birds on the wing then you could visit Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre at Porlock where you can see and learn about these fabulous birds of prey and even watch a flying display.