Cattle will be able to graze at Chasewater Country Park once more after vandalised fencing was replaced.
The animals form part of the management of rare heathland on the Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) as without the cows to maintain the acid grassland and eat the tree saplings that grow each year, the land has to be manually cut and the vegetation collected.
Lichfield District Council has grazed two areas of Chasewater – Anglesey Basin and the Heathland Translocation – for five years. But fencing surround these areas has been cut and vandalised meaning the cattle could not return to the site last year.
However, sturdy fencing has now been installed meaning the animals will be back.
Councillor Neil Roberts, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for development services, said: “We have a statutory obligation to manage the SSSI through conservation grazing. It is therefore really disappointing that, despite having installed large gates to make sure the areas for cattle are still accessible to walkers and cyclists, some people have repeatedly cut through the fences to save them the trouble of opening a gate.
“This is why are replacing sections of our stock fencing with moorland fencing, which is made out of hardened steel. As vandals won’t be able to cut through it, it will mean that we can extend the grazing area and be confident that the cattle are safe.
“We are looking forward to bringing a small herd of cows to the north shore for the first time, and are in the final stages of preparing the area.”
Visitors are being reminded to take care when around the animals.
“The presence of cattle on Chasewater does not mean the area is out of bounds to visitors,” said Cllr Roberts. “The footpaths will still be open to everyone, but please keep a reasonable distance to the cows and do not feed them.
“Also remember to keep all dogs under close control when near the livestock, as required by the Countryside Code.”