8th June 2020

Would you be surprised to learn that Cattle help in the conservation of the countryside? We can explain not only this but how you can help ensure these cows are happy and enjoy the meadow wildlife they create.

Cows complete our countryside landscape, define our green and pleasant land, epitomise calm. Are you hearing ‘Isles of Wonder’ playing in the background yet? But that’s all theory, from a distance. Now let’s zoom in. When us city dwellers go for a walk in the countryside and come face to face with a field of cows, in practice we can be cautious as they can seem rather big, scary and unpredictable. A flurry of questions arise : “Why are those cows here?” “Should I go in the field?” “Will I startle them?” “Will they frighten me?”

Here to answer your cow queries, explain how these cows are enhancing our natural environment, not just in the visual sense and how you can connect with cows is Adam Bolton, Habitats & Access Officer.

“Cattle began to graze 3 sites as part of our Conservation Grazing Project at the back end of May of this year. We now have 8 Sussex cattle grazing the Misbourne Meadow in Denham Country Park, 10 Aberdeen Angus grazing at Stanwell Moor and 6 Dexter’s cattle grazing the fields near Stocker’s Lake in Rickmansworth. They are doing a fantastic job at keeping on top of long, coarse grasses and encouraging more wildflowers to flourish. Cattle are also doing a brilliant job at other locations in the valley, including at Poors Field in Ruislip, beside Ruislip Lido.

Conservation grazing involves using livestock to graze down coarse grasses, nettles and other less desirable plants in order to reduce the amount of nutrients on site and encourage more wildflowers. This in turn helps boost insect numbers, aids pollination and creates more food for birds and other animals.

a handsome example of a Sussex cow

Meet the Cows

There are eight cattle in Denham, comprising six girls and two boys, although the boys are steers and unable to breed. These cattle have a wonderful temperament and are usually very calm around people which makes them a great choice for grazing such a busy site. Quite small in stature, Sussex cattle are the closest native breed to the Denham area and are fantastic grazers. They will remain on the Misbourne Meadow for the next few months depending on how quickly they munch through the available grass.

The Cows Arrive : The 2020 grazing season begins in Denham

On Wednesday the 20th of May our grazier, and Colne Valley board member John Whitby, delivered eight Sussex cows to the Misbourne Meadow in Denham Country Park for the 2020 grazing season.