Autumn is a busy time on Dartmoor with calves, sheep care and the pony drift sale.

Dartmoor Commoners are urging the public to take extra care around the cattle on the moorland as the autumn calving season in underway.

Calving cows on the common is permitted and it is the healthiest environment for calving, as the ground is clean.

Cows take themselves off away from the herd to calve on their own.

They will often hide their baby calf and the only clue people have that she has calved is that she is on her own, she will be looking very alert with pricked ears and she will be watching them.

Walkers are urged to give them a wide berth or take a different route as the cattle may be unpredictable.

Meanwhile, the sheep are soon to be removed from the moor for their health checks.

Commoners on Dartmoor are legally required to remove their sheep from the common in the autumn for a given period of time.

The sheep are gathered into the farmstead to be treated for parasites and disease.

As rams are prohibited from the commons, the ewes are often mated at this time before they are turned back onto the common to produce lambs the following spring.

This year the sheep clear days are South Moor November 6-20 and North Moor November 13-27.

Autumn also brings a sight which has been seen on Dartmoor since before the Domesday Book: the hill farmers gather or 'drift' their pony herds back to the farm for a health check.

The spectacle of pony herds working with relatively few farmers over large areas of common to come down from the Moor, using routes passed on by their ancestors, is a sight to behold.

Foals born in the previous spring are separated from the mares for weaning.

Some are kept as replacement stock, branded and returned to the Moor with the herd for winter.

Others are sold at the annual traditional Drift Sale organised by Rendells auctioneers and the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association.

This year’s sale is at Chagford Market on Thursday, October 14.