Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Highland Cattle Become Conservationists at Parc Slip

So anyone out walking on the Nature Reserve recently may have noticed that we have employed the help of some four-legged conservationists this month to help with the management of the nature reserve!

Two of our Highland Cattle- Dougal and Hamish

The ‘Lapwing Field’ at Parc Slip is now being grazed by Highland cattle, owned by our local farmer, who often works with us to manage the nature reserve. This breed is often used in conservation grazing due to their hardy nature. The cattle will be improving the habitat for lapwing by grazing which will create the short turf favoured by the species. 

Lapwings are a bird that often frequent farmland and wetlands, named for their broad wings which are unmistakeable when the bird is in flight. The bird is also known as a ‘peewit’ in recognition of its robotic sounding call! When it comes to breeding, lapwings like short turf, which is where the Highland cattle come in.

Lapwing by Ian Rose

The lapwings will also benefit from churned up areas of ground, which provide nesting sites, and the manure which will provide insect food for the developing chicks.

It's lovely seeing the cattle on the nature reserve and we hope the lapwing will appreciate them too!

Mac and Hamish

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