The Parks Trust set to welcome cattle to select locations across Milton Keynes

The Parks Trust, a local independent charity, is set to welcome a number of cattle across some of the locations they manage from tomorrow (22/04).

From early spring to the autumn, The Parks Trust has around 350 to 500 cattle out in their fields. These are regularly moved to different locations to ensure that they have sufficient food as well reducing their impact on the local area. 

It has recently been announced on their social media accounts that from tomorrow cattle will be present in the following areas across Milton Keynes:

  • Stones Fields, Woughton Park

  • Below Church Field, Wolverton Mill

  • Mill Right Field, Wolverton Mill

  • Woughton Pen Field, Woughton On The Green

  • Simpson Warren

Explaining why the Parks Trust keep large numbers of cattle, a representative said: "The cattle help us to maintain wildlife habitats, creating better conditions for a great variety of wildflowers which in turn attract many pollinating insects such as butterflies, bees and hoverflies as well as larger animals and birds.

"Without grazing livestock, we would need to use heavy machinery more regularly to mow the grass and then remove the cuttings. If the cut grass is not removed, the nutrients enrich the soil, promoting strong grasses that would outcompete the wildflowers.

"Grazing with cattle is also more sustainable and cost-effective than cutting the grass as it means that we do not need to use machinery as frequently.

"The cattle help us to maintain our historical sites. We are lucky that we have many ancient monuments and features within the parks, including medieval villages. The cattle help us keep the grass down in these areas, meaning that we are less likely to damage the landscape and our shared heritage.

"Lastly, the cattle provide us with a connection to our farming heritage. Until relatively recently Milton Keynes was largely fields used for farming. We continue this cultural heritage and believe that having cattle in our parks brings delight, understanding and connection to animals and farming."

The Parks Trust strongly advise residents who are visiting areas containing livestock to keep their dogs on leads. Giving more detail as to why this is the case, they said: "Keeping dogs on leads is the biggest problem that we face in caring for all our livestock.

"We have plenty of parks where dogs can be off leads and roam, but we ask all dog owners to ensure their dogs are on a lead when they are entering fields used for grazing.

"Cattle can be disturbed by dogs and their behaviour can then change quickly. Most of the incidents we have had have been caused when dog owners who regularly use a field assume that it will be empty or that previous cattle have not reacted to a dog.

"Cattle are moved regularly from one field to another as grass availability dictates, so part of a field that was empty just hours before may now have livestock on it."

For more information on cattle in the local area, please click here.