A small herd of around 10 Red Poll cattle have returned to the Barlaston and Rough Close Common Local Nature Reserve. Stafford Borough Council manage the nature reserve and has been working to restore the heathland at the site which provides a rare and important habitat for many species of plants and animals.
The herd’s grazing is the most cost-effective and natural method of getting rid of unwanted shrub and vegetation to let the heathland flourish. They are the perfect breed for the job as they are hardy enough to graze through the rough grasses found on the common.
The cattle first appeared at the site in 2008 as part of the Barlaston Common Grazing Project and their presence has already contributed to an increase in species of wildflower on the heath as well as the new growth of heather.
The cattle will remain at the reserve until September. They are known to have a gentle temperament but visitors are reminded to keep all dogs under control while the cattle are on site.