County Voice

Cattle on Moel Famau

Managed in partnership with Natural Resources Wales and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ‘House for a Grouse’, named by local school children, is a 35-acre site located on Moel Famau. Previously a forested site, it was clear- felled in 2002/2003 and naturally allowed to revert back to heathland. Black Grouse are surveyed on this site during national annual surveys, the area forms part of the national monitoring of Black Grouse and is a key part of the core area of the Black Grouse Species Recovery Project. It also supports a typical assemblage of upland birds, reptiles and butterflies. Offa’s Dyke National Trail runs close along one side.

Since the site was clear felled manual clearance by staff and volunteers is carried out to remove conifer regeneration and mature heather, this being a very slow process. In 2018 ‘House for a Grouse’ became part of the Landscape Solutions for North East wales project that brings around 40 sites into sustainable management regimes by sharing resources and involving communities in the biodiversity and cultural benefits of the sites. Therefore, the project was able to provide the necessary infrastructure including, fencing, gates, improvements to access track and will also be providing a stock pen.

Working closely with a grazier, 5 Belted Galloway cattle have now been introduced to the site for the first time. Belted Galloway cattle are a traditional Scottish breed of cattle, originating from the Galloway in the west side of southern Scotland.

They are a heritage breed and are well adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region. The cattle will help manage the site by eating scrub and keeping the heather down.

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