Sunrise: 04.47 Sunset: 09.35
The northern ends of the Riverside Pasture, the Swamp, and Hoo Wood Pasture, are bordered by Hoo Brook. Rare breed cattle have worked in the Swamp and along the Riverside Pasture eating Himalayan balsam for the past three weeks. This morning they moved out of the Riverside Pasture, its gates closed, and the gates to Hoo Brook pasture and the Northern Corral opened.
Hoo Brook Pasture is densely covered with nine feet high balsam; some have stalks as thick as my fist. On my arrival, late this afternoon, the cattle were nowhere to be seen (probably having well-earned naps in the Swamp), but I certainly didn’t have a problem seeing what they had achieved today; a large area of balsam had been eaten!
Worcester Wildlife Trust is in partnership with the Ranger Service, Narural England and local land owners to graze conservation sites across the district via the Wyre Forest Grazing Animals Project (http://www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/things-to-see-do-and-visit/countryside-and-nature/grazing-animals-project.aspx). A herd of ten Shetland cattle graze Wilden Marsh. The project aims to provide a low stress life for the cattle; they live a very natural life style in extended family groups, and are checked on every day.
These are iPhone images: