The Fell Pony Breed Description
To quote from the book "A Walk on the Wild Side" about the Fell Pony breed standard:
"The breed standard describes the 'perfect' Fell pony and to which all breeders should aspire. The points described in this breed standard were originally based on these true 'Hill ponies' and are not merely for 'cosmetic' purposes. They are the points that both enable a Fell pony to survive in a feral herd on these Northern hills and also when domesticated, enable them to work effectively.
There is no doubt that some of these characteristic points will be lost if Fell ponies are only bred on low-land farms in the future. There is nothing wrong with breeding Fell ponies in environments other than their native hills, but it is my opinion that unless lowland breeders are able to return to a 'fell bred' stallion every few generations, the animals will become larger and breed type will be lost.
On the other hand the hills themselves need the ponies along with the sheep to continue to graze them, otherwise the countryside as all of us (tourists and locals alike) know and enjoy it at the moment will be lost. The grazing habitats of the sheep and ponies compliment each other and help to keep scrub and undesirable weeds at bay and make it possible for the fells to be walked and enjoyed. Other species live in harmony with the ponies and many a bird's nest is woven or lined with horsehair."
- Carole Morland (Lunesdale Fell ponies)