Lively Livestock!

Thursday, October 14th 2021

In order to manage some of the habitats at the reserve, livestock are brought onto the land to graze. Conservation grazing creates vegetation at different heights, and small areas of bare ground. This makes it suitable for a wide range of wildlife in different habitats. It allows wildflowers to grow, flower and set seed each year. This provides pollen and nectar for invertebrates and increases invertebrate food available for birds. Dexter cattle have been on the wetland for a couple of months and having completed their work it was time for them to return to their farm for the winter. Staff have fed them daily over the past week to get them used to coming to the gate. 

Last time it took several days to catch them however, this year after only 3 attempts they were successfully loaded into the trailer. 

Then it was time to catch the rare breed sheep on the heathland. A small flock of Hebridean, Shetland and Boreray.

To everyone's surprise this proved to be a more tricky challenge.

There were many attempts with the sheep all getting close to the trailer before their minds at the last minute!

With a bit of perseverance and some expert assistance from Tess the Border Collie they were finally rounded up. 

Our sincere thanks go to the farmers from Big Sheep Little Cow in Bedale and Gam Farm in Grassington for kindly loaning their animals to help manage these different habitats.

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