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MOO-VING IN: Herd of cattle move into Leavesden Park to help with grass maintenance

 Published on: 30th June 2024   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

Cattle are now living in Leavesden Country Park as part of an ongoing effort to naturally maintain grassland and boost biodiversity.

The herd of red Devon cattle arrived at the Horses’ Field over the weekend on June 7. The animals will help to sustain a diverse grassland habitat for the benefit of a wide variety of plants, animals, and birds under a plan known as conservation grazing.

The 20-strong herd is a British heritage breed from Devon and are known for their docile, good nature. They have been helping Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) with its grassland management for the past three years.

Emma Sheridan, TRDC’s associate director of customer and community, said: “The cattle are here to help manage the grasslands and eat their way through the fields. The cattle are not selective grazers like sheep can be and, with their large mouths, use their tongues to wrap the grass around and then pull it out. This type of grazing is beneficial to grasslands as it creates variety, with some bits left long and others removed altogether. This creates a varied sward and gives wildflowers the opportunity to set down seed.”

Dog walkers are still welcome to use the footpaths across the Horses’ Field, but all visitors are encouraged to abide by the Countryside Code. To protect dogs, the cattle, and ground-nesting birds, dog walkers are reminded to keep their pets on a lead when entering the enclosed area during the summer months. There is also a cattle-free route around the edge of the field.

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