Search

Highland cattle at home in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:55 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:00 05 July 2010

Highland cattle are being employed to help manage and conserve picturesque marshes near Lowestoft.

Grazing animals are often used to manage land that would otherwise revert to scrub and woodland and now five Highland cattle have been introduced to the Oulton Marshes, at Oulton Broad, and join a variety of helpful animals keeping things tidy throughout the county.

Highland cattle are being employed to help manage and conserve picturesque marshes near Lowestoft.

Grazing animals are often used to manage land that would otherwise revert to scrub and woodland and now five Highland cattle have been introduced to the Oulton Marshes, at Oulton Broad, and join a variety of helpful animals keeping things tidy throughout the county.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has already introduced Exmoor, Dartmoor and Konik ponies, Hebridean and speckle-faced Beulah sheep, pygmy goats, rabbits and deer to other sites that risk becoming overgrown and losing precious habitats.

The trust's property and sites manager, Steve Aylward, said: “Grazing animals help eradicate invasive vegetation and reduce fertility which increases the variety of wildlife; different stock has different grazing characteristics. Highland cattle are an extremely hardy breed that tolerates wet conditions well. They're not fussy about what they eat and have tough mouths, which enable them to happily chomp their way through reed, willow scrub and sedge.

This helps prevent the marshes from becoming overgrown and allows typical Broadland plants to thrive.”

Konik ponies are used at the Redgrave and Lopham Fen and have already feasted on 100 hectares of fen, while the Dartmoor ponies have created a distinctive grazing pattern at Dunwich Forest.

There was previously no livestock at the Oulton Marshes, apart from grazing deer, and

the trust had to do a lot of manual mowing. Introducing the cattle will create a natural mosaic of short and tall fen areas rather than blocks of cut vegetation.

“Large herbivores have an important function in an ecosystem, eating and processing huge quantities of vegetation,” added Mr Aylward.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Lowestoft Journal. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal