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Barossa Benefits from Conservation Cows
Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) successfully reintroduced conservation grazing on to Barossa (a large area of heathland in Camberley) from mid Sept to mid Oct this year. Barossa is an active military training area used by officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and the conservation grazing is carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Natural England and the Heathland Conservation Society.
Last year there were reports of cows being abused by youths and walkers feeling threatened so SWT ranger for Barossa, James Herd and other members of the SWT grazing team spent many hours on site monitoring the cattle to assess their behaviour, but to also educate members of the public on how to behave around the cattle and provide advice on how to approach them. In total, SWT staff witnessed 137 interactions between people and the cattle, where they were either very close to the cattle or walking through the herd. All 137 interactions witnessed were positive. Comments from the public were also extremely positive, with people saying how glad they were to see them back and how pleased they were that it was going well.
SWT ranger James Herd said “We have done a huge amount of work on site, in the local community and with the local media to ensure people were aware of the cattle returning to Barossa, the reason why their presence was vitally important for the preservation of this incredibly rare and threatened habitat and how people could contact me to gain more information or advice. The site users I’ve met (whilst shepherding the cattle) have been hugely supportive of extensive grazing as a management technique on Barossa and included dog walkers, joggers, young and old, parents with pushchairs and children and horse riders. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the local community and site users for the way they have treated the cattle and embraced their new neighbours!”
The cattle will return to the dry training area on Barossa after the Easter holidays in 2013. If anyone is interested in becoming a cattle ‘looker’, i.e. helping to keep an eye on the cattle and the condition of the fence line, or want to know more about Barossa they can contact James Herd at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Date published:||Tuesday 30 October 2012|