Conservation grazing is livestock grazing that meets nature conservation objectives and includes everything from extensive, low-intervention grazing schemes meeting welfare needs of livestock while allowing natural processes to occur to grazing on improved grassland managed to optimize sward structure for invertebrates, small mammals and birds.
Our sheep are perfect for all weather conditions and self shedding to reduce maintenance and require no supplementary feeding. Conservation grazing sheep in East Anglia are ideal for the following grassland:
• Infertile, dry sites – prone to drought
• Large sites with varied topography
• Small sites – where other animals are inappropriate
• Botanically important sites (where botanical importance outweighs
• Easily supervised sites – tethered, continuous but rotational grazing
I graze the devil’s dyke from Reach to Newmarket race course in conjunction with the wildlife trust, natural England and historic England.
The sheep are used as conservation grazers to manage the chalk grassland and scrub. The site is managed under higher level stewardship, is a scheduled ancient monument and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The sheep fleeces become contaminated with brambles and burrs throughout winter grazing so I opted for self shedding sheep or ‘hair sheep’.
East Anglia’s grasslands, large and small, are vital for wildlife, providing a haven for a wide range of wildflowers, birds, animals and invertebrates. But as agriculture has intensified, traditional management techniques of cutting and grazing, essential to prevent coarser vegetation and scrub dominating at the expense of fragile species, has declined. Coupled with the pressures of development it’s estimated that 90% of our herb-rich meadows have vanished in the last half century.
Working with Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust our sheep are helping to preserve the meadows, grassland and essential wildflowers to encourage the survival of many insects that rely on Devil’s Dyke as a food source.