November saw the beginning of a new grazing partnership at NRW managed National Nature Reserve Oxwich. The NNR here is important for the complex mosaics of habitats, providing home for otters, orchids, rare dune gentian and a nationally recognised population of small blue butterfly.
In November, graziers Gower Meadow Beef moved four of their Dexter herd on to the NNR, where they spent a few months grazing the fens and meadows.
In the meadows, the cattle will help wildflower seeds to germinate by creating open space and trampling seeds in with their hooves. They’ll eat the dominant grasses and shrubs which would otherwise compete with flowering plants.
In the fens, these little cattle will push through the dense fen vegetation and will make space for a plethora of wetland birds and other wildlife. Grazing helps keep emergent vegetation under control. This provides clear areas for use by wildlife like amphibians and dragonflies. Trampling around the edges of the water provides habitats for rare plants and insects.
We are looking forward to seeing how the habitat progresses with this management. Get in contact if you would like to set up a similar conservation grazing programme.