Grazing cat­tle will aid marsh’s eco-sys­tem

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

COWS have come to Ick­en­ham as part of a £23,000 project to boost plant and wild­ife habi­tats in a na­ture re­serve.

The London Wildlife Trust (LWT) runs the Ick­en­ham Marshes re­serve – a col­lec­tion of about 40 fields be­tween Ick­en­ham and Ruis­lip – and is lead­ing a project to en­cour­age plant, bird, mam­mal and bug species to thrive.

Work has started in the marshes off Austin’s Lane, Ick­en­ham, next to Yead­ing Brook.

The work will re­store ar­eas of flood­plain, grazing marsh, grass­land, fen and wood pas­ture, but as the re­serve’s ground is nat­u­rally very wet, tra­di­tional forms of man­age­ment by hu­man be­ings is dif­fi­cult.

The cows’ grazing will keep grass lev­els down, and pre­serve and im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment in the marshes.

Gates and fences will be put up to en­sure that the gen­eral pub­lic can still have safe ac­cess, even when the cows are on the land.

Fund­ing of £22,950 has been granted by The Ve­o­lia En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust through its Land­fill Com­mu­ni­ties Fund, whereby waste com­pa­nies re­tain a small part of their Land­fill Tax bill and use it to support e nv i ro n me n t a l and com­mu­nity projects.

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