Why do we have grazing animals at Trelissick?

Cows in the park

As many of our keen-eyed visitors will have noticed, the time of year when the cows come back to Trelissick has arrived.

You may also observe that we have created a fenced off area at the bottom of the park to prevent these cows from wandering in. We hope this will encourage you to picnic, play and enjoy the beach over the coming months of sunshine [of course they will be!]

Why do we choose to have grazing animals at Trelissick at all?

The simple truth is that livestock grazing has played a crucial part in shaping the landscape that we all enjoy today. Using farm animals helps to promote a rich and diverse habitat of plants, fungi and animals [particularly insects] by controlling the more aggressive species which would otherwise come to dominate these areas. In turn, the insects that depend upon the livestock provide a vital food source to local populations of birds and bats.

Grazing is also a more gradual, gentle method than cutting or burning and gives the littler lifeforms more time to move around or escape whilst the work is happening. Long term, grazing is also more cost effective and sustainable than the use of machines.

Cattle are fantastic for this type of management because they use their tongues to pull vegetation into their mouths. As a result they do not graze too close to the ground and leave tussocks which are havens for insects and small mammals. Cows are also not very picky about what they eat and so don’t target flower heads and other herbs, essential for the future diversity of these areas.

In terms of aesthetics, seeing farm animals moving around the landscape, for many, brings a view to life and is a timely reminder that the living countryside is both a source of food and employment.

We hope that you will enjoy seeing the cows and the brilliant work they do for us over the coming spring and summer months.

– The Trelissick and North Helford ranger team