Grazing cattle will aid marsh’s eco-system
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.