New neigh­bours moove in at Ick­en­ham Marsh

Cows rein­tro­duced to na­ture re­serve to help con­ser­va­tion

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alex Ballinger

A NEW team of un­ex­pected grass cut­ters have just mooved into the Ick­en­ham Marsh Na­ture Re­serve in Hilling­don as part of a £25,000 ren­o­va­tion project.

The three Sus­sex cat­tle will be call­ing the re­serve home for the next two months to give the grass a good grilling.

An 18-month project to re­vi­talise and pro­tect the five-acre site now comes to an end with the new res­i­dents rais­ing the stakes for the Lon­don Wildlife Trust, which man­ages the site.

Re­serves man­ager for the trust, Tom Hay­ward, said: “Bring­ing cat­tle back will pro­vide a big boost to our con­ser­va­tion ef­forts here at Ick­en­ham Marsh. We want to en­sure the land is man­aged for the max­i­mum ben­e­fit of the wildlife species that live here, as well as to en­cour­age new species to ar­rive.

“We will be re­ceiv­ing help look­ing after the cows from the Ick­en­ham Marsh Part­ner­ship, and of course the restora­tion would not be pos­si­ble with­out the gen­er­ous grant made by The Ve­o­lia En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust.”

The cows moved into their greener pas­tures in Glebe Av­enue, Hilling­don, on Satur­day June 4.

Ick­en­ham Marsh first be­came a na­ture re­serve in 1987 and is home to wa­ter chick­weed plants, the herb skull­cap, the long-winged cone­head bush cricket, and now the three prime cows.

The project in­cluded in­stalling new gates and fences, and restor­ing a num­ber of the habi­tats with the hopes of en­cour­ag­ing more peo­ple to hoof it to the re­serve.

Most of the fund­ing for the work came from The Ve­o­lia En­vi­ron­ment Trust which funds com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­ment projects in Eng­land and Wales.

A to­tal of £20,697 was given by the trust, which helped the re­serve reach the bulls-eye of £25,000.

Rein­tro­duc­ing cat­tle is a sus­tain­able way of main­tain­ing the land in and is far less time con­sum­ing and dif­fi­cult than hu­mans do­ing the same work.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ve­o­lia trust, Paul Tay­lor, said: “This project will have many ben­e­fits for the re­serve for the species found there and the peo­ple who visit and en­joy it.

“It is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of how the trust and the Land­fill Com­mu­nity Fund help pro­tect and im­prove im­por­tant habi­tats across Eng­land and Wales and I look for­ward to hear­ing about how this one is thriv­ing.”

n ON THE MOOVE: The cows mark the end of an 18-month re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project at Ick­en­ham Marsh Na­ture Re­serve

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.