Highland cattle are being used to assist with the management of Thorley Wash during the summer months.
The cattle, named Belle, Bridget, Cecilia and Candice, will graze the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust reserve until the autumn. This will help to prevent scrub from regenerating, and will ensure the wetland and grassland character of the site is preserved. They are taking the place of the water buffalo which grazed the site late year.
Highland cattle are ideal for damper sites such as Thorley, as they are able to tolerate in the wet conditions. Reserve Officer Jenny Sherwen said, 'It's great to get Thorley Wash grazed again. Grazing is crucial to maintaining the habitat and enabling rare plants, insects and butterflies to thrive, as well as ensuring the conditions are right for wetland bird species. Without grazing, the site would quickly revert back to scrub and woodland.'