Cattle get moo-ving back to Panshanger Park


An English Longhorn calf - Credit: Tarmac

Welwyn Garden City's Panshanger Park will soon be welcoming a herd of English Longhorn Cattle back to the site.

English Longhorns are a native breeds and are perfect for grazing the historic parklands to help maintain plant life and encourage wildflowers to grow.

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

The 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.

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Murray Brown, park ranger, said: "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.

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"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.

Earlier this year Panshanger Park also had a new path opened, which l inks the western side of the park to the Panshanger Great Oak and the remains of Panshanger House.

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