Wednesday, 8 January 2014

8th January: Cattle leave the NNR

It's time to say goodbye again to the NNR's herd of cattle until the Autumn, when they will be brought back to the Reserve to graze the rough vegetation once again. Many thanks to our helpers and volunteers who made sure the cattle were brought in safely.

Getting the corral ready to make it as easy as possible to help the cows into the trailer

They seem to know where they're going!

One group of cows successfully loaded into the trailer - only three more groups to go!

The cows have done an excellent job for another year, helping to ensure the dunes are in the best condition for this summer's plants, insects and breeding birds.

Staff and volunteers found it amazing to see the difference between when the cattle were brought onto the Reserve, in October, and now. They have done a fantastic job of grazing the long vegetation, as you can see by comparing these two photos.

October - the day the cows arrived

December - the same stretch of grassland

It's not just keeping the long grass in check that the cattle are good at, they also have an impact on the Pirri-pirri bur by trampling and chewing it.

This photo shows how the Pirri-pirri bur is reduced in vigour by being grazed and trampled by the cattle - it is dying back and turning brown.

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