Grazing at Bloody Bridge

Black Galloway cattle grazing the land at Bloody Bridge, Co Down

Bloody Bridge Valley is not only an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) but also a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). It provides a habitat for a range of varied flora and fauna, most recently playing host to ten Black Galloway cattle.

In recent years, we've noticed a marked increased in scrub which has encroached on the vital habitat of the wet and dry heath. Last year the team cut much of the gorse and introduced fencing with the eventual aim of grazing the area, leading to the ten Black Galloways being introduced in May 2018.

Bloody Bridge at the foot of Slieve Donard
Bloody Bridge, near Newcastle, Co. Down
Bloody Bridge at the foot of Slieve Donard

As part of the National Trust's committment to looking after and restoring priority habitats like Bloody Bridge, the hope is that the cattle will eat the molinia (purple moor grass) and scrub regrowth leaving room for the precious heath to return. The cattle have been introdced for a test period of two months for May and June 2018.

The cattle are curious about passers by
Black Galloway cattle at Bloody Bridge, Co Down
The cattle are curious about passers by

The ten traditional breed cattle are all young heffers and are curious of passers by, but can be wary of people and dogs. Please ensure you keep all dogs at Bloody Bridge on leads to avoid spooking the cattle and causing injury. 

Spot them on your next visit and say hi!