Gwent Wildlife Trust
Purchase of cattle and training costs for volunteers and staff to run this herd on the wildflower meadows at Penallt. In order to meet our grazing needs at Wyeswood Common and Pentwyn Farm, we recently purchased a small herd of Hereford cattle with your support.
Following successful fundraising efforts, Gwent Wildlife Trust is now the proud owner of a herd of 11 Certified Organic and Pasture Fed Livestock cattle. The young steers (castrated bulls) range in age between 14 and 20 months and were purchased from a Herefordshire farmer Jeremy Helme. Since arriving with the Trust on March 30th they have settled well onto Wyeswood Common and look quite at home.
In addition to purchasing the cattle we have also bought a new handling system and troughs to help us take care of their welfare needs.
We have recruited a new trainee, Clare Durose, who will do a 12 month University Placement with us starting in July. She is currently studying for a BSc Honours in Wildlife Conservation with Natural Resource Management at Harper Adams University.
Ten GWT staff and volunteers have been trained in cattle welfare and handling by Hilary Jones of Usk Vets. The cattle behaved very well on the day to the extent they were already waiting for us in the handling pen when we arrived with Hilary and the volunteers, saving us the usual embarrassment that ensues when trying to round up livestock in front of an audience! This bodes well should we wish to do any future training courses with the public.
In fact, the herd is already proving to be a valuable people engagement tool. Our Give for Grazing appeal was popular on social media and attracted over £1500 of donations, as well as high profile media attention. The cattle and GWT staff Andrew Nixon and Tim Green were filmed for ITV Wale’s Coast and Country programme, to be aired on the 6th May. In addition to a general press release about their arrival, we have also written a feature about the cattle which will appear in the June issue of Live 24/7 magazine. Our updated conservation grazing pages on the GWT website, featuring our new herd, can be seen here: http://www.gwentwildlife.org/conservation-grazing
Whilst it is too early to assess their impact on the reserve’s wildlife we look forward to monitoring the grazing as the season progresses.
GWENT WILDLIFE TRUST
Cattle Grazing Project
Report to the New Grove Trust
Monday, 11 July 2016