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Cows on Countryfile

Friday 6th May 2016

The team with Adam HensonThe team with Adam Henson

The spotlight was on Surrey Wildlife Trust when BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson and his camera crew paid its grazing team a visit.

The stars of the show were the Trust’s herd of Belted Galloway cows

They spent two days filming at Pond Farm near Wisley, finding out about the important role livestock plays in conserving Surrey’s wildlife.

The stars of the show were the Trust’s herd of Belted Galloway cows, but the sheep and goats were also featured for the different roles they play in managing various habitats across sites in Surrey.

Adam runs his own farm in Gloucestershire and has a particular interest in rare breeds and grazing animals.

The TV presenter chatted with James Adler, head of the Trust’s grazing team, about the different grazing capabilities of the animals. Farm manager Steve Proud also introduced Adam to some of the Trust’s gorgeous new-born calves – over 80 new arrivals are expected this year.

Adam said:

“Surrey Wildlife Trust is running a really effective programme, where they actually breed their own livestock for use in conservation grazing, which is very beneficial for wildlife. They’ve got a great team at Pond Farm and they made us very welcome – the Belties were also very well behaved and we had a super couple of days filming with them.”

James Adler, the Trust’s Grazing and Land Services Manager, said:

“Grazing is just one of the tools we use to manage land in the best way for conserving wildlife. Our animals can access areas that machinery can’t and livestock have less impact than burning or cutting would, so allowing wildlife to thrive.

“The weather was very kind to us and the BBC team, which allowed for some greats shots of our 30-acre acre farm in Wisley. They say never work with children or animals – but our animals were truly on their best behaviour and performed right on cue for the camera. Even our rather camera-shy goats were tempted into the spotlight with some tasty gorse.”

The Countryfile team also filmed the cows as they were released on National Trust land at Petersham Meadows, near Richmond – as part of the Trust’s contract grazing programme.

The Trust started its conservation grazing project with just three animals in 2007. As well as some 375 cattle, it now has goats and sheep. It also uses deer for managing habitats in the county.

Where to watch

Although the episode has now passed, the Trust’s five minutes of fame on BBC Countryfile is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

View it here >> 

Find out more about conservation grazing

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