Return of the hairy grazers

Flanders Moss NNR

At the Wards of Goodie, part of Flanders, we have cattle back grazing the edge of the moss for the first time in maybe 50 years. Historically the moss edge of Flanders was always used by cattle, especially in the winter months. Farmers would put their cattle there because it was actually the driest ground available through the winter. You might think that a bog might not be dry but compared to the heavy clay ground and the main part of the moss, the edge of the bog is the driest ground. It also means that you kept the cattle off your good productive ground so that it didn’t get poached up in the wetter months. But with changing farm practices the moss edges have often become neglected in recent years. This means that they can get covered in coarse grasses that swamp out the more desirable bog vegetation like sphagnum moss and sundews.

So the reintroduction of these little hairy chaps will gradually bring back better bog vegetation and improve the state of the bog. And it also shows that even bog land can be productive and have a role to play in modern farming.

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1 Response to Return of the hairy grazers

  1. Pingback: Update on the hairy grazers | 2 bogs, a swamp and some islands

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