Grant scheme boosts nature

Cows are crucial

A grant scheme provided by the Cotswolds National Landscape is bringing a welcome boost to nature at Boundary Court Farm, near Woodchester Park.

There are over 70 acres of grassland at Boundary Court Farm. A combination of a passionate Farm Manager and a hungry in-hand herd of Belted Galloway cows provides a dedicated conservation grazing regime that's returning once species-poor fields into areas that are rich in wildflowers.

Conservation grazing encourages wildflowers to grow
Conservation grazing encourages wildflowers to grow
Conservation grazing encourages wildflowers to grow

Caring for the Cotswolds Grant

We're delighted to have received £1,750 from the Cotswolds National Landscape's Caring for the Cotswolds grant scheme. The grant means that we can now restore a 7.5 acre grassland bank at the farm by extending the grazing regime. 

Lack of water on the bank has meant that the Belties have been reluctant to graze the slopes. Grazing is crucial as it prevents the dominance of aggressive grass species and results in a shorter grassland sward - allowing characteristic limestone grassland plants and invertebrates to thrive. 

The restoration of the bank and farm is an important element in the Stroud Landscape Project. As the bank gradually supports more wildflowers, we'll be able to harvest the seed and extend our successful collection and sowing programme. 

Conservation grazing

Grazing is a traditional way of managing grasslands. It not only creates a range of heights in the grass sward that increase the diversity of wildflowers and insects, but it does so without the use of harmful pesticides. 

As an added benefit, the areas now grazed by the Belties at Boundary Court are providing the resident greater horseshoe bat population at nearby Woodchester Mansion with a vital feeding ground as they feast on the insects and beetles found in the dung.

Dung beetle
Dung beetle
Dung beetle

Habitat connectivity

The restoration of the bank at the farm will also enable us to continue with our work to create wildlife corridors that connect similar habitats together.

We're creating a connection between Woodchester Park and the Stroud Commons that makes it easier for animals, insects and plants to move around. The restoration of the bank through a targeted grazing regime ensures that another important piece in this ecological jigsaw is in place.