Gourmet Grazing gets it right

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Highland cattle have helped improve Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Woodside Nature Reserve .

Work started in 2014 at the funded Gourmet Grazing project, on the site of the former Woodside Colliery, to build a livestock handling corral and over a mile of perimeter fencing so that Highland cattle could be kept on the reserve to graze.

The cattle were introduced to the site in September. They have penetrated areas of dense scrub, grazed off invasive tree seedlings such as hawthorn and blackthorn and grazed dense scrub that suppress wildflowers. The reserve now has a better balance of grass and scrub required by birds such as song thrush and grasshopper warbler.

Kate Lemon, reserves officer, said: “The fencing and corral does not just help the wildlife, it also means we have a secure field and safe handling for the cattle which means Woodside can now be enjoyed by visitors and walkers.”