Amazing Grazing at Londonthorpe Woods
Londonthorpe Wood welcomed its new bovine residents as the grazing livestock moooo-ved onto the site recently. Hereford and Charolais cows will help us to keep the scrub under control in particular areas around the Alma Wood section of the site – once they’ve grazed one compartment, they will be moved on to another. Moving the cows around will result in both grazed and un–grazed areas, which will lead to an increase in habitat diversity.
Conservation grazing adopts the traditional and natural approach to managing habitats – its inclusion in the site management plan helping to ensure the site is looked after in the best way possible. The benefits of conversation grazing are huge, this method of conservation helps to enhancing natural regeneration and creates new areas for wildlife species to thrive.
We’ve ensured that that visitors to Londonthorpe will still have full access to the site without the need to go near the cows, as we’ve fenced off the grazing areas where the livestock will be and maintained footpaths around these areas. Clear signage has been introduced, asking visitors to stick to paths and keep their dogs on a lead when walking in the grazing areas and we are working closely with the grazier to ensure the cows are well looked after.
Volunteer cattle monitors will help us to keep an eye on the cows. Working as a team they will visit the site regularly to make sure that the cows are where they should be and are in good health. They will report any concerns to their volunteer manager who will pass the information onto the grazier.
This scheme of conservation grazing is part of the 4-year, ‘Reconnecting Grantham to its historic landscape’ project. The Woodland Trust and National Trust are working together in partnership to achieve the project’s aims, to raise public awareness, understanding and engagement with Londonthorpe Woods and Bellmount, as well as better conserving their historic and natural assets. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting this work.
Amanda Brookes – Volunteering Development Officer (Central England)
Image from Pexels website