Return of Panshanger Park’s conservation stars

June 2, 2021

Panshanger Park’s magnificent herd of English Longhorn Cattle will soon be returning to the site. English Longhorns are one of the most majestic of our native breeds and are perfect for grazing historic parklands.

The cattle are owned and looked after by park managers Maydencroft who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the park, supporting owners Tarmac and their partners, Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

The majestic English Longhorn was part of landscape architect Humphry Repton’s original vision for Panshanger Park when he landscaped it in the late 18th century. Repton himself commented that the “quintessential English parkland should always contain Longhorn Cattle.” As well as their historic significance, the cattle play an important role in maintaining the park’s grasslands, controlling more aggressive plant species that could otherwise dominate these areas. Wildflowers are given a better chance to thrive and disperse within the habitat, and by laying down and trampling the vegetation, the cattle allow seedlings to establish, providing more suitable areas for insects.

Murray Brown, Park Ranger says:

“The Panshanger team is delighted to welcome the Longhorns back to the park. I spent some chilly mornings helping to feed and straw them up in their winter stalls and I know the cattle will be very excited to be out in the park again. We’re also looking forward to the arrival of this year’s calves. By grazing here, the Longhorn Cattle increase the diversity of plant species, and this has a really positive knock-on effect for wildlife such as butterflies, bees, bats and birds. The benefits from grazing are considerable.”

With the return of the herd, the Panshanger Park team would like to remind visitors that while the cattle are calm and friendly, it is important not to disturb or feed them. Dogs must be kept on leads when using the permissive rights of way through areas where the cows are present.