Pro­tect­ing habi­tats, sav­ing species – why it’s so im­por­tant

Norfolk - - Nature -

Pony and sheep graz­ing is help­ing to re­store many Breck­land sites to pro­tect plants found nowhere else in the UK, such as peren­nial knawel.

At NWT Hick­ling Broad the pony graz­ing helps to con­serve fen grass­lands, home to iconic Broad­land species such as swal­low­tail but­ter­flies.

Sheep graz­ing at NWT Weet­ing Heath cre­ates the ideal nest­ing ar­eas for stone curlews. This iconic Breck­land bird was once un­der threat of extinction in the UK but is now mak­ing a come­back.

The year-round pony graz­ing on Bux­ton Heath has seen a marked in­crease in the num­ber of marsh helle­borine. This beau­ti­ful orchid, whose dis­tinc­tive white and pink flow­ers ap­pear dur­ing July and Au­gust, is now a com­mon sight within the val­ley mire.

Our new team of Bri­tish White cat­tle was in­tro­duced this spring to help re­store fens at Up­ton to ben­e­fit rare fen­land plants in­clud­ing fen orchid.

Coastal marshes and reed beds at Cley Marshes sup­port flocks of win­ter­ing and mi­grat­ing wild­fowl and waders. Cat­tle graz­ing is es­sen­tial to help main­tain open grass­lands, cre­at­ing feed­ing habi­tats to sup­port the di­ver­sity of birdlife here.

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