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