We are welcoming back native rare breed Gloucester cattle to graze our downland from early September until the end of February.
Maintaining species-rich grassland habitat on the Downs is helped in particular by the way cattle graze. Unlike sheep or horses who tend to graze more selectively, cows tear vegetation from the ground with their long rough tongues leaving a diverse sward height and some small areas of bare soil. Seedlings are given a chance to grow as cattle move around trampling the ground, creating gaps in the vegetation, encouraging a variety of species to flourish.
While the Downs are home for the cows this autumn and winter we do ask visitors to be respectful and take care when near the cattle. Keeping dogs on leads while walking through the Downs and ensuring gates are closed are essential ways you can help us keep the cattle safe and happy.