Overton Mere, managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, is an important site for calcareous grassland plants. Grazing ceased on this site many years ago and as a result, gorse scrub has slowly been encroaching on the grassland.
PONT Cymru has been working with the Wildlife Trust and Natural Resources Wales to re-establish grazing on this nature reserve. Last summer, fencing was installed which had to extend onto the beach to prevent escapees. This provided an initial challenge but was overcome in the end. Following fencing installation, Dexter cattle from Gower Meadow Beef and Torcoed Welsh Mountain Ponies moved onto the nature reserve.
The animals have been busy scrub bashing alongside the volunteers at the Wildlife Trust, increasing the areas for the grassland plants to flourish.
We have also been very pleased to see the community develop around the animals on the nature reserve. Local residents, dog walkers and volunteers were trained as stock checkers who can regularly visit the animals and ensure their wellbeing. There is even a Facebook group where photos and news can be shared.
If you manage a nature reserve or site that needs conservation grazing and would like to set up something similar, get in touch and we can help.