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Stackyard News Feb 2010

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    Whitebred Shorthorns to Graze Penwith Moors

Four registered Whitebred Shorthorn heifers have been bought from the Bloch herd belonging to George and Ian Bell, at Langholm in Dumfriesshire to graze the Penwith Moors on the Cornish coast.

Bloch Whitebred Shorthorn Heifers

Bloch Whitebred Shorthorn Heifers

Gerald Babcock at Pendeen in the far west of Cornwall made the purchase, the heifers are to be the foundation of the new Pendeen herd and together with a small herd of Shetland Ponies will be used for conservation grazing on the Penwith Moors. The heifers have been AI'd to Spoutbank Gay Gordon under a synchronized control breeding plan.

Due to modern farming methods and the introduction of motor vehicles the Penwith Moors have been abandoned for the last 100 years leading to a “monoculture” of wall to wall bracken. To bring back bio diversity to the moors, conservation grazing is needed alongside controlled burns, scrub management and bracken spraying with Azulox using the Micron Ulva method.

Wall to wall bracken with farmland in the distance

Wall to wall bracken with farmland in the distance

Unlike Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Mid Cornwall Moors (Goss Moor), On Penwith Moors due to the abandonment of cattle grazing, this lack of contact with cattle has lead to a fear of them. Mr Babcock hopes to address this issue using the very placid Whitebred Shorthorn which is ideally suited to solve the problem. The cattle can be easily seen on the moors because their "whiteness" stands out against the colour of the landscape.

Mr Babcock is hoping th arrange "workshops" for local walkers, dog owners and horse riders entitled "Meet our Rare Breeds" to encourage them to overcome their fear of cattle.

Mr Babcock hopes to involve the local community in the development of the herd in an effort to stop this modern irrational fear of cattle and would welcome your comments, he can be contacted at:

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