Wildlife on Brean Down

The distinctive Belted Galloway cows

Explore the steep slopes and sweeping pastures on Brean Down, home to a wide variety of rare plants and birds.

Grazing on the Down

We are introducing hardy cattle onto Brean Down, to eat into and trample the scrub. To encourage the cattle to stay where we need them, we will be using mobile electric fencing to regularly target areas that need more grazing pressure, while allowing some heavily used areas to recover. 

Cows are great at grazing on scrub because they use their tongues to wrap round the grass and pull it up – giving different heights to the grass meaning diversity of insects and plantlife. 

Trampling restricts regrowth of cut bramble and breaks bracken stems, helping to stop these plants from taking over large areas. 

Brean Down's rare plants

The southern slopes of the down have three rare plants. They live in close proximity in this closely grazed open turf. They are the white rock rose, dwarf sedge and Somerset hair grass. In high summer, this almost unique vegetation community in Britain has an almost Mediterranean appearance.
 

Bluebells

In May, the north side of Brean Down is covered in a dazzling carpet of bluebells, which makes it a great time to visit and see this spectacular sight.
 

Birds on Brean

Brean Down is a haven for bird watchers, so bring your binoculars. If you're lucky you might spot a Peregrine falcon, It's a sanctuary for breeding pairs.