The cows are back!

As part of our conservation management to increase the abundance and diversity of wild flowers at The Withey Beds, the family of Dexter cows have returned to graze for another season.

This year the bull is accompanied by two females each with a calf. These small cows feed off the vegetation with little damage to the ground – this grazing reduces nutrients returning to the soil which reduces competition and allows wild flowers to thrive.

This is the traditional way of managing wild flower meadows; such grazing has been part of England’s landscape for centuries.

The cows are expected to be at the site through to the end of September, but they may possibly stay longer depending on the weather, and vegetation growth.

28th April 2016

Chill wind. Dry. Sun.

Blackcap x3 singing
Pair Whitethroat
Chiffchaff singing
Pied Wagtail far pool
Kestrel, male, hunting

2 Small Tortoiseshell
2 Orangetip

Leaf beetles
Pond Skaters on new ponds
Rove beetles, 5, on new boardwalk

11th April 2016

Water has subsided, pools showing more clearly.

Pair Great Spotted woodpeckers chasing and calling
2 Ring necked parakeets overhead
Blackcap singing at far end
Chiffchaff singing
1 male Kestrel
2 Carrion crows mobbing a buzzard
Pair Grey wagtails far end
Pair Gadwall
Pair Canada geese

Wolf spiders on boardwalk

28th January 2016

New ponds not visible due to flooding.

Two pairs Shoveller feeding in high water next to the Bird hide.

3 Egyptian geese flew over calling loudly.

1 Grey wagtail on path near Big Pond.

1 male Bullfinch calling and on flowering cherry.

3 Kingfishers chasing and calling noisily.

1 fox in field, marking territory in various places.

1 Great Spotted Woodpecker calling and drumming.

3 Redwing in bushes beyond the first bridge.