Leicester Mercury

WHY CATTLE WAS LEFT TO ROAM

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LEICESTERS­HIRE County Council has explained that the cows in question were only passing through the area temporaril­y.

But they say visitors will continue to see the cattle on the Jewels Hill area from time to time.

The spokesman added: “Late on Wednesday afternoon last week we began to take the cattle from the heathland at Beacon Hill for their statutory TB testing.

“The plan was for them to move through a part of the Jewels Hill area and on to the area where they will be tested.

“However, the cows chose not to cooperate with this and rangers took the decision to leave them there until the following morning when they were successful­ly moved.

“Visitors will see the cattle on the Jewels Hill area from time to time over the period of restricted access, but the level of grazing will be reduced from previous years.

“We have 19 cattle in our herd at Beacon Hill and this low-intensity grazing forms a key part of our conservati­on regime.

“Having large herbivores has a positive knock-on effect for the food chain, their droppings are used as food sources for dung beetles and flies which help feed our visiting summer birds.

“The cows will also reduce the amount of nutrients within the soil, which in turn helps the colonisati­on of wildflower­s.

“As there are so few of them, they are unlikely to cause disturbanc­e to ground nesting birds and other wildlife; they are interested in finding grass to graze.”

The county council has 19 cattle in its herd at Beacon Hill – Highland, Dexters and English Longhorns, a Leicesters­hire breed.

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