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Cows helping save habitat

British White Cattle. Picture courtesy of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. SUS-140320-101259001

British White Cattle. Picture courtesy of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. SUS-140320-101259001

Seaford Head Nature Reserve took on a trio of new residents last month – three cattle.

Seaford Town Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust worked together to bring two British whites and one British black went on to Seaford Head on Thursday February 6.

The cattle have been introduced on to the Head as part of the management plan that was commissioned by Seaford Head Local Nature Reserve Committee to provide a guide on the best possible management for the nature reserve over the next five years, 2013 to 2017.

The site is degrading due to overgrazing in some areas and a lack of grazing in other areas.

Sussex Wildlife Trust took over the management of the 83 hectare site for Seaford Town Council at the beginning of June 2013.

Coordinating the conservation work at Seaford Head is the Trust’s Assistant Reserves Officer, Sarah Quantrill.

Sussex Wildlife Trust says these cattle are a particularly good breed for conservation grazing which will help control the coarser grasses and scrub and contribute to improving this area of chalk grassland.

The cattle will be grazing on the reserve for around two months, being checked on daily and with access to water.

The cattle are used to being on Sussex Wildlife Trust land and are relatively docile.

A spokesperson for Seaford Town Council said, “Dog owners however should keep their dogs under close control or on a lead.

“If they are approached by cattle they should let the dog off the lead.”

There is electric fencing around the area with three access gates.

Sussex Wildlife Trust asks that people visiting the nature reserve make sure the gates are kept closed.

There are information signs at the three access points for the grazing area, including the contact number for the grazier in an emergency, 07884496807.

Anyone wanting more information on the nature reserve or with an interest in joining one of the voluntary groups that currently help care for the reserve, should in the first instance contact either Seaford Town Council on 01323 894870 or admin@seafordtowncouncil.gov.uk, or speak to Sarah Quantrill on 01273 492630.

 

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