THE first pictures have been released from the set of Far From the Madding Crowd - currently being filmed in Dorset.

The stills show A-List star Carey Mulligan as heroine Bathsheba Everdene alongside her co-stars Tom Sturridge as Troy and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak.

In the pictures Bathsheba is seen walking through freshly cut fields and glazing into the distance, while a close up sees her and Gabriel Oak in a dramatic moment, the final shot shows Bathsheba and Troy in a dark and misty atmospheric woodland.

In the background is the lush Dorset countryside in all its technicolor glory. The crew have been filming in the Beaminster and Dorchester areas.

The Thomas Hardy adaptation is a collaboration between British production company DNA films, Fox Searchlight and the BBC.

A spokesman for Far From the Madding Crowd said: “On behalf of the director, producers, cast and crew we would like to say a big thank you to the local community in Dorset who have helped and supported the production of Far From The Madding Crowd.”

He added: “In particular the residents who have put up with us filming on their doorstep, the B&B's, hotels and cottage owners who have housed all the cast and crew, the very accommodating Dorset Councils and Highways, the farmers who have supplied some of the livestock and the locals who have participated in the film and gone to great lengths to grow their facial hair, turn up to work on time, despite the weather.”

Allon Reich and Andrew Macdonald of DNA Films said: “Far from the Madding Crowd is one of the most enduring and captivating stories in English literature.

“David Nicholls' script beautifully captures the heart of Hardy's original and we are thrilled to be bringing it to the big screen with Director Thomas Vinterberg.”

Mapperton house near Beaminster has been a hive of activity.

For part of the filming the crew transformed the grounds into a slimy farmyard, put up false walls and created an entirely new scenario for the Elizabethan manor house. Lots of West Dorset residents have been playing the part of extras.

As the filming has continued celebrities have been seen around Beaminster.

Residents have seen stars Tom Sturridge and fiancé Sienna Miller going in and out of shops in the town.

Debs Moxhay from shop Strummer Pink said she had seen Sienna and one of the film's stars, Michael Sheen, in the town.

She said: “It's amazing publicity for Beaminster. It's brilliant.”

She added: “It's just had a really nice feel-good factor about the whole thing.”