Cattle have been brought back to graze in Cobham Wood for the first time in over 20 years.
Bringing cattle into the Wood will allow scrubby vegetation to be managed in a sustainable way, maintaining the open strucure of the landscape through a combination of grazing and trampling, and reducing the need to clear vegetation mechanically. This ‘wood pasture’ habitat is rare, and when managed effectively can support a wide range of wildlife.
The reintroduction of grazing follows three seasons of landscaping works in the Wood, which have thinned much of the younger trees and scrub that were choking many of the veteran trees of light and air and reducing the amount of wildlife. There has already been a visible recovery since work began early last year.
Historically, cattle and deer had always been a feature of Cobham Park, the first reference to an enclosed deer park at Cobham appearing in 1559.
In 2006, 3 miles of stock fencing was installed, along with cattle troughs, to allow management of the herd in three large grazing compartments. Kissing gates have been put into place to allow access between the compartments.
The herd is from Luddesdown Organic Farm, whose cattle already graze the parkland west of Cobham Hall. For the safety of the cattle, we advise all visitors to exercise care when walking, and keep dogs under control.