Home time for CEMEX’s bovine eco team
Grazing cattle at Berkswell and Dove Holes quarries head back to the farm for winter
HARDY native breeds of cattle that have been helping CEMEX to improve the ecology and biodiversity of land at two of their sites are now about to go back to their farms to be housed for the winter.
The cattle, which belong to local farmers, have been enjoying the rough vegetation at Berkswell Quarry, near Coventry, and Dove Holes Quarry, near Buxton.
During the autumn months, approximately 30 cross-breed cattle have been munching their way through weeds, rushes, herbs and general vegetation, as well as trampling down the ground and pushing seeds into the soil in the process, thereby helping to promote germination for next year’s plants.
According to Natural England, livestock grazing is essential for the management of many of England’s most important wildlife habitats and plays a key role in maintaining species-rich habitats by controlling more aggressive species of vegetation.
At Dove Holes Quarry in the Peak District, the cattle have been grazing on a 5ha meadow seeded with a special flower mix to provide food for the declining population of twites, while the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) marsh land at Berkswell Quarry has benefited from 11 beef cattle living off the land.
‘We look forward to welcoming the cattle back on to the land in the spring,’ said CEMEX’s business conservation advisor Jenny Oldroyd. ‘They are vital to the company’s ongoing land-management plan at the two sites and will, once again, be working for the benefit of nature by doing what they do best – munching, providing manure and trampling.’
CEMEX have been working in partnership with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) for more than seven years to increase the biodiversity of their landholdings and, to date, have completed more than 900ha (approximately 1,500 football pitches) of biodiversity restoration.
Grazing cattle is just one of the many measures developed by the partnership to help wildlife and biodiversity.