Cattle have been introduced to Talbot Heath this week, marking the first time grazing has been seen here in recent memory. Following months of planning, which has included completing fencing and other necessary tasks, three British White Steers were let out onto Talbot Heath to assist in the management of this Special Site of Scientific Interest. This exciting new move is a joint venture between BCP Council and Talbot Village Trust, who both own sections of the heath.
The animals, which come from BCP Council’s Canford Heath herd, are now roaming free across the heath. Through their grazing, they are helping in the management of the reserve in a way mechanical operation can’t replicate. The animals will be present for eight weeks before returning again in 2021.
Councillor Felicity Rice, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change said:
“It is very exciting to see the cattle introduced to Talbot Heath. During their time on the heath, they will be able to help with the conservation of the area by grazing, and we hope to see more of them over the coming years. The animals are very used to people but please respect them, give them space, keep dogs on leads and close all gates behind you.”
Grazing is a recognised and important management technique for the conservation of heathland. The actions of livestock create a mosaic of structure maximising the habitats available to wildlife, you can find more information Here.
If you notice anything untoward or would like to volunteer on a Council heathland near you, please contact the BCP Council Environment team on 010202 261700 or out of hours 0800 50 60 50.