Grazing

On several parts of the nature reserve sheep or goats are used to manage the grassland. We are using Herdwick Sheep to maintain the grassland suitable for ground nesting birds. If you walk the footpaths with livestock in please keep all dogs on a lead. Thank-you.

With no sheep most of our grassland would quickly become scrub and then woodland, but with too many sheep there is very short grass and very few flowers. Now some of our wildlife does like very short grassland eg Lapwing, but many more species like longer grass. So we are developing a mosaic of grazing regimes. One example that benefits flowers and bumblebees is to have sheep grazing September-March and then no sheep April-August and this encourages the red clover, bird's-foot trefoil and meadow vetchling that are so important to the longer tongued bumblebees. A few areas have no grazing at all, developing tussocky grass and scrub with trees and in some of these areas we cut the vegetation to maintain greater structural diversity.