Flanders Moss NNR
There are actually 10 different landowners of Flanders Moss. SNH only own about 12% of the peatland area, the rest of the nature reserve is managed in partnership and agreement with land owners. One such partner is West Moss-side farm (more info here).
One part of this partnership is the grazing of a small part of the Flanders Moss peat bog habitat. Grazing is important as prevents trees from invading the bog and keeps in check the heather, leaving open patches for sphagnum moss to develop. But too much animal activity on the fragile surface damages the bog vegetation. So it has to be just thr right level.
At the West Moss-side farm bit of Flanders the grazing is done by rare breed Shetland cattle. This cattle are small so cause less damage to the bog and tough so they can thrive on poor quality grazing. They graze the deeper peat areas through the summer and look fantastic in amongst the cottongrass. Eventually some of the youngsters of the herd will go to the butchers and organic Flanders Moss beef can be bought from West Moss-side farm. By eating what is some of the best beef around, you are supporting the conservation of this special nature reserve.