Moo Arrivals on Horsenden Hill

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English Longhorn Cattle


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Ealing Council’s annual cattle grazing project is under way at Horsenden Hill.

This year there are six young English Longhorn cattle grazing the medieval meadows at Long and Home Meads.

They come on loan from Harrow School and are due to stay on the hill until the end of October.

Since the grazing project started in 2005 the cows have done a great job munching away on the long grass, wildflowers, brambles and scrub. They help to manage the meadow and conserve and enhance wildlife on the site. One of the rare plants that grow on the site, dyers greenweed, has been thriving and seems to be spreading.

English Longhorn are not related to the American or Texas Longhorn whose ancestors came from Spain, but they do have an interesting history linked to agriculturalist Robert Bakewell, who pioneered selective breeding in livestock in the 18th Century.

The herd on Horsenden Hill come in the typical array of colours and have the characteristic white line along the back and down the tail, which is distinctive of the Longhorn breed. As yet, they have fairly short horns, but over time these should grow into the impressive sweep, which is valued in the pedigree.

So far, the cattle seem to be quite timid and tend to stick together, often hiding out in the central thicket of hawthorns in the middle of the grazing area. Longhorns generally are known to be fairly docile but should not be approached or touched. All litter should be removed from the field, dogs must be on leads and gates must be closed.

For more information or to report any damaged fencing on the hill contact the West Ranger Team on 020 8813 9232 or 07912 580223.


August 31, 2009

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