Tarmac is delighted to announce the arrival of five longhorn calves at Panshanger Park, the first of 16 expected to be born over the coming weeks.
The longhorn cattle were introduced to the park in April – as showcased on BBC One’s Countryfile on Easter Sunday – to provide low intensity grazing that will naturally help to manage the land and support biodiversity. The majestic longhorn cow was part of landscape architect Humphry Repton’s original vision for the park, when he created it in the late 18th century.
The herd at Panshanger Park, including 16 pregnant cattle, belong to recently appointed park managers Maydencroft who are supporting Tarmac and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust with the management of the park. They are currently being cared for in a barn by the park ranger team until all the calves are born, before being released into designated areas of the park for grazing at a later date.
Livestock grazing plays a key role in maintaining grasslands at Panshanger Park by controlling certain species of plant that could otherwise dominate the land and by preventing scrub encroachment. It gives mobile species like wildflowers a better chance to move around. Finally, the areas of bare ground that can result from the cows trampling the grass and laying down become microclimates in themselves, providing areas for hunting insects, nesting and even enabling seedlings to establish.
Enrique Moranmontero, Tarmac’s Restoration Manager at Panshanger Park, says, “We’re delighted at the arrival of these first calves – it’s so exciting to see Repton’s vision for longhorn at Panshanger Park coming to life in this way. Once we get the cows out to graze the land, their role will help increase the diversity of plant species we have, which has a really positive knock-on-effect for animals like butterflies, bees, bats and birds. The benefits from grazing are great and we’re certain visitors to the Park will very much enjoy seeing the calves too.”
With the arrival of the calves, the Panshanger Park team would like to remind visitors that whilst the cattle are calm and friendly, it is important to not disturb them or feed them. Dogs must be kept on leads when going into grassland areas where the cows are present. If any cows are blocking the path, visitors can walk around them and re-join the footpath as soon as possible.