Cows on the Beach

The Picture shows cows walking along the shoreline White park Bay

Are these the most photographed cows in Northern Ireland. As they wander along White Park Bay, they end up in loads of people's selfies and, as a result, all over social media

But they are not just there for an interesting shot.  The cattle carry out a very special part of the conservation work around the sand dunes of the beach, although when we filmed them here a few months ago after a brief snowfall, it really looks they were just enjoying a nice relaxing stroll on the beach.

According to one of our rangers, cattle grazing is a tried and tested conservation method that has been used in other areas of the dune system at White Park Bay to great effect, significantly reducing grass sward height and allowing rare plants such as orchids and winter annuals to flourish on the short turf.

The cows belong to a local farmer who rents out some of the land that the National Trust owns near the beach, and the cows have free reign at certain times of the year to take a dander around.

This is a method also used at Portstewart strand to allow a variety of flora to continue to grow and amaze us in these special places.