Shetland Cattle are a rare breed. They are extremely hardy and will eat grass, leaves, bark and bramble. In contrast to lawn-mowers, which create flat and characterless environments, the feeding cows will provide a more varied landscape.
This new landscape will provide ideal conditions for the local wildlife. Grasshopper warblers, which have recently started nesting on the site will benefit along with invertebrates. The cows will be cared for by local volunteer and former ambulance driver, Danny Flynn, from Droitwich.
Droitwich's canals have undergone a transformation in recent years, having been fully re-opened in 2011, thanks to the hard work of local volunteers and community organisations. Coney Meadow reed bed, which was built next to the canal as part of the restoration, is a hotbed for local wildlife, such as herons, kingfishers and otters.The area plays a significant role in supporting the eco-systems of the surrounding countryside.
Mark Robinson, ecologist with the Canal & River Trust, said: “The cows are going to be far more effective than the lawn-mowers we have been using and we hope will make a real impact supporting the rare and important wildlife at Coney Meadow. We hope they will also appeal to the thousands of visitors who cruise and walk along the canals.”
The cows, which will be borrowed for 60 days, have been provided by Wyre District Council who use them on conservation areas around the local region.