Our conservation grazers are back

A black cow looking in the foreground with other cattle behind on a sunny hillside

While the cattle are on site, please keep your dogs on a lead and under control at all times.

For the last few years we’ve been working with local farmers to bring Shetland Cattle to graze on Pepperbox Hill and Grimstead Down.  This takes place from mid-March to mid-June and again from early September to late October.

These rare native breed cattle have proven to be ideal animals to assist with the management of the site and they graze a broad range of plants including hawthorn, blackthorn, the numerous dog rose species, privet and dogwood, nettles, bramble and even some of the less desirable grasses present.  Keeping these species under control helps to improve the diversity of species in the many different habitats that occupy this site.

The site has regenerating juniper and a mixed age successional scrub habitat important for invertebrates with broad leaf helleborines present in the shadier areas and also on the verge where twayblades and an occasional white helleborine can also be found.

As well as the more common species of butterfly, there are also dark green fritillary and green hairstreak butterflies on this site and in late summer you may even spot a silver studded blue.