Animal welfare – Dartmoor National Park

You would expect to find Highland cattle in Scotland, so it's a surprise to find them ...
You would expect to find Highland cattle in Scotland, so it's a surprise to find them in Dartmoor National Park.

Devon’s Dartmoor National Park is closer to France than it is to Birmingham, let alone the Scottish Highlands, but the shaggy shape in the road ahead is unmistakable. The wavy, double coat of hardy hair, the long, unkempt fringe and those distinctive curved horns of the beast ambling into the road ahead could only belong to Highland Cattle.

But the Highland is just one of many types of animal you’ll find wandering free in South West England’s largest National Park. There are other breeds of cattle, from the Belted Galloway to the Welsh Blacks; sheep, from the Scottish Blackface variety to the Whiteface Dartmoor type; and, of course Dartmoor’s famous wild ponies. And every one as oblivious to the traffic and rules of the road as a town-based teenager with a headphone bud wedged into each ear.

Little wonder the speed limit here is a very urban-like 40mph. Though the scenery may be radically different, you need the same quick reactions to deal with situations on Dartmoor as you do back in the city. And you demand the same set of skills from your car to keep you, your passengers, and pedestrians – no matter how many legs they have – safe at all times.

Safety comes in many forms

Dartmoor National Park is known for its free ranging animals and range of stunning scenery.

Safety comes in many different forms, and the safest cars are arguably the ones that aim to prevent you from having an accident in the first place. They should have responsive handling and preferably feature an always-on four-wheel drive system to ensure you remain in complete control at all times, no matter what you find in your path.

You’ll find that combination on every Subaru SUV, together with a Special Boxer engine that’s mounted low in the chassis to give a decisive handling advantage.

And that dynamic advantage is backed up by an electronic stability system that can cut engine power and brake individual wheels when its sensors tell it intervention is beneficial to prevent a skid on a wet corner. Or even apply maximum braking power to help avoid or reduce the severity of an impact with vehicle ahead.

But staying safe is also about staying relaxed. Features like lane-keeping assist, which warns you if you’re about to stray from your lane, and adaptive cruise control, which can maintain a suitable distance from the car ahead, both of which come as part of Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety technologies, don’t only keep you safe, they give you more time to enjoy the journey – and the wildlife.

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