On of my favourite magazines, The Countryman, is reporting how a conservation by the National Trust for Scotland has turned a 200-acre dairy farm (no longer used) in wildflower meadows, wetlands and native woodlands. So off I went to find out more direct from the National Trust for Scotland.
The Threave Landscape Restoration Project used grazing by 14 Belted Galloway cattle to increase biodiveristy, with vegetation at diferent heights. As a reulst, 81 hectares of land at the Threave Estate which is located in Dumfries and Galloway have become rich habitats for fauna and flora.
The cattle had satellite linked collars so that their activities could be tracked remotely, and this was helpful in reducing any possiblity of overgrazing.
The result? Insect and bird life have increased. Not only that, but species which were rarely spotted at the site before, have increased, too. Curlew, wheatear and the shoveler duck and skylark have all increased.
As well as the cattle, the project is aiming to plant 16,000 native trees, too.
Nor have people been forgotten. The wetland area is accessible to human visitors, thanks to broadwalks.
This porject is encouraging other sites to create change, both locally and further afield. They are looking to enlist the use of cattle to do some conservation grazing, for example, also using GPS tracking devices which helps reduce over-grazing.
Threave is important because it is the home of the School of Heritage Gardening, and it’s dedicated to the training of hortiuclturalists. Not only that, it’s got Scotland’s only Bat Reserve! They’ve got 8 species of bats and a conservation programme dedicated to protect them.
The National Trust for Scotland says it’s one of Scotland’s most biodiverse nature reserve – there’s an osprey platform where you can take in the beauty around you.
Well done to everyone involved in the project!
Images on this blog ©National Trust for Scotland