MP RORY Stewart paid a visit to some fell ponies ahead of an exhibition highlighting their role on the Cumbria fells.

The animals on Roundthwaite Common, on the eastern border of the Lake District, belong to Libby Robinson. Ms Robinson is curator of The Heritage of the Hill-bred Fell Pony Exhibition, which is being run at the Rheged Centre, Penrith, until August 22.

The event is aiming to raise awareness of Fell ponies and the role they play in the region. Visitors will have the chance to see short films, photographs, artefacts and literature all relating to the animals’ centuries-old way of life on the fells.

Ms Robinson told Mr Stewart she believed the biodiversity created by Fell ponies’ grazing was under-appreciated, and that she wanted them to find the fame that other breeds such as the Herdwick sheep have.