Update on the hairy grazers

Flanders Moss NNR

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Just a quick update on how the hairy grazers are getting on at taming the bog edge. They have been in the grazing enclosure for more than 6 weeks and are starting to make a difference. From footprints and other signs (!) we can see that they have covered just about all of the area but nowhere have the messed up the vegetation. Because this site hasn’t been grazed by cattle for a very long time the mat of old vegetation has built up but the cattle are starting to break this down through munching and treading and hopefully open up the sward to allow bog vegetation to start to come through.

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While they have been chomping on the bog vegetation they have also taken time out to hammer the occasional Sitka seedling that have appeared in the grassland. These are definitely not wanted so this bit of multi tasking work is very welcome.
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The bunding put in earlier in the year around the edge of the moss is holding plenty of water so creating a valuable wetland feature but also backing water up within the bog and making it wetter.
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They look big but it is mostly hair and underneath they are quite wee. This is great as it means that they don’t poach up the ground but do break down the mat of old vegetation. A case of conservation management and farming going hand-in-hand.
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