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Cattle return to Barossa
Following an extensive programme of outreach work, questionnaires and surveys, 8 Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) cattle will be returning to Barossa (a large area of heathland near Camberley, which is owned by the Ministry of Defence). The cattle will arrive on the 10th September and be removed on the 12th October and have access to the whole 296 ha military training area.
The cows’ job is to graze the dominant vegetation, predominantly purple moor grass but also scrub such as silver birch saplings, which out-competes the heather and more delicate heathland plants including sundews, orchids and marsh gentian, reducing the habitat’s valuable biodiversity. Grazing helps control the dominant plants and increases the opportunity for the rarer plants - and associated heathland wildlife - to become established.
Mr Cooper, a local resident said; “I’m looking forward to seeing the Belted Galloway cattle back on Barossa. Partly because of the job they do keeping the scrub at bay, but would have to say mainly because they are such beautiful, friendly beasts and add another dimension to a precious bit of countryside.”
During this period members of the public will continue to be able to enjoy visiting Barossa whilst the cattle are grazing. Surrey Wildlife Trust is asking for members of the public to act as cattle checkers, particularly people who visit the site regularly. It doesn’t involve getting very close to the cattle, is straightforward and can be done while you visit the site for other reasons.
If you do visit Barossa and come across the cattle there are some simple measures you can take to ensure you enjoy their company:
• Do not feed them or try to touch them.
• If you have a dog, walk around the cattle or choose another route if they are in the way.
• Keep your dog on a lead.
• If you feel threatened by the cattle don’t panic and run away, they’re probably being inquisitive and might run to keep up with you. If you stop they will keep a safe distance from you.
• In the unlikely event that the cattle do chase you, just let go of the lead and walk calmly away, keeping an eye on the cattle and your footing.
If you would like more information please contact the SWT site ranger, James Herd, on 07891 850882.
|Date published:||Wednesday 29 August 2012|