Not all of us have access to acreage to organically rear our own meat, but there are still ways to help support animal welfare and conscious and sustainable farming in the UK. Adopting a grazing animal is one way to support such a campaign.
The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers up and down the country to offer individuals the opportunity to support the efforts of British farmers rearing nationally important species.
Not only as a means to support the sustainable farming of these special breeds, but through the sponsorship of a grazing animal, the wildlife trust are additionally able to continue to use livestock as part of their conservation grazing programmes in an attempt to protect special habitats too.
With so many fantastic breeds to choose from, each local Wildlife trust has its own grazing animals to choose from.
How about adopting a Longhorn in Cheshire;
“Our Longhorn cattle are at the heart of our Living Landscape schemes, and at last count the Trust had one of the largest herds of these traditional native breed cattle in the country. These ‘living lawnmowers’ do a perfect job grazing more than a dozen of our nature reserves, helping to restore species-rich meadows for bees and butterflies and keeping floodplain grazing marshes just right for birds like lapwings, snipe and skylarks. They’re pretty friendly too!”
Visit the Cheshire Wildlife Trust to find out more.
…a Highland from Herts;
“These lovely ladies are part of our vital grazing programme and fondly referred to as our ‘living lawnmowers’. They are currently doing vital conservation work munching away at Thorley Wash – one of our valuable wetland nature reserves and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) noted for its botanical diversity.”
Visit the Herts Wildlife Trust to find out more.
…or a Dexter from Wiltshire;
“The breed comes in three colours – black, red and dun. Originating from the south west region of Ireland, Dexters are hardy animals, thought to have been bred from the best selection of Irish mountain cattle in the 1800s. They are only about one third the size of a Fresian milking cow.
Because of their small size and resilient nature, Dexters are ideal for grazing chalk grassland sites. They do not damage the fragile soils as larger breeds might and navigate the steep slopes with ease. Dexters can over-winter outside, withstanding rain, wind and snow.”
Visit the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to find out more.
With an attempt to also support our suffering dairy industry, the Countryside Restoration Trust are also offering the opportunity to adopt a Jersey calf. With increased costs and demands, many dairy farms are being forced to increase production and reduce costs, effecting both the welfare of the animals, and the impact on the surrounding countryside. Through the sponsorship of Jersey calves, the welfare of pedigree dairy cows are ensured and a sustainable farming culture is maintained.
Words by Helen Upshall