Norfolk Wildlife Trust

GRAZING FOR NORFOLK'S WILDLIFE

This “Grazing for Norfolk’s Wildlife” project will enable Norfolk Wildlife Trust to significantly expand its conservation grazing programme: improving, restoring and managing habitats in Norfolk.

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  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation

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Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) manages a wide range of semi-natural habitats which represent some of Norfolk’s finest wildlife sites. Many of these habitats evolved and were maintained in an open condition through traditional management practices, including grazing. Without this form of management, many fragile sites can quickly become overrun with rank grass, trees and scrub. NWT is no stranger to developing conservation grazing initiatives; as one of the first Wildlife Trusts to establish a Flying Flock, there are currently 1,000 ewes and a herd of over a 100 ponies across the Trust’s nature reserves. In addition, NWT works with 20 external graziers to restore and secure the long-term management of our nature reserves through grazing. However, a recent grazing review and report has found that, in order to continue delivering and developing conservation grazing, it is essential to expand our current capacity through purchase and breeding of ponies and sheep. This expansion will benefit several BAP habitats such as fen, lowland heathland, lowland calcareous grassland and dry acid grassland in Norfolk’s unique Breckland areas, and the associated BAP species, including Norfolk flapwort, stone curlew and nightjar. Through this project we will continue to expand the pony herd and the Flying Flock. It will secure the continuing appointment of the livestock assistant and a contract shepherd, along with the necessary capital items to manage the grazing animals. These positions have provided additional manpower to enable us to breed from existing stock to further expand the NWT flock and pony herd and to manage these increased numbers. In addition, we will provide appropriate training for any new staff and volunteers to manage the grazing programme, ensuring sustainability of the project’s results and ultimately, the continued, effective management of our nature reserves

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