Toggle menu

Slyfield community recycling centre closure

The Slyfield community recycling centre will be closed from 15 June to 30 June 2024 for essential maintenance. Find out more about alternative community recycling centres. (opens new window)

Find out about conservation grazing

find out more icon

Grazing in the Countryside

When walking at our countryside sites look out for cattle or horses. If you see them, they will be carrying out essential natural habitat management.

We use grazing to maintain open areas on our wetland, heathland and grassland sites. Grazing is an effective method compared to alternatives such as cutting and burning.

Cattle and horses are selective with what they eat. This encourages a wider variety of plant species to grow. It controls dominant plants that would otherwise take over.

Trampling by animals creates areas of bare ground among grasses, scrub and trees. These bare areas are important for a wide variety of wildlife. It allows mobile species such as reptiles and amphibians to easily move to other areas. Animal manure provides a habitat in itself for lots of invertebrates.

Grazing on our land varies throughout the year. It depends on the environment and how we are managing a particular site.

Be vigilant and take note of any signage present.

When walking on a site with cattle please follow the guidance below:

  • follow the Countryside Code
  • follow the advice of on-site signage
  • keep dogs under control
  • leave gates as you find them.
  • keep a respectful distance to the animals
  • do not try to touch or feed the animals

Cattle Grazing

Grazing sites and schedule

Whilst we make every effort to keep this information updated. Planned animal movements can sometimes be delayed by circumstances outside of our control.

LocationGrazing seasonsGrazing status
Chantry Woodspring, autumn and winter

Cattle on site from January 2024

The Mountspring, autumn and winterCattle on site from February 2024
Parsonage Water Meadowsspring and summerNo cattle on site. Cattle will return in spring.
Pewley Downsautumn and winterCattle on site from February 2024
Riverside Nature Reservespring, summer and autumnCattle on site.
Shalford Water Meadowsspring, summer and autumn

No cattle on site. Cattle will return in spring.

Snakey Lane Nature Reservesummer and autumnNo grazing animals.

Stoke Water Meadows

spring, summer and autumnNo cattle on site. Cattle will return in spring.
Tyting Farmthroughout the yearNo cattle on site. Cattle will return in spring.

Pirbright heaths: 
Bullswater Common
West Heath
The Gardens
Dawney Hill
Chapel Lane

throughout the yearGrazing animals on sites.


In an emergency contact the owner of the grazing animals. The graziers number can be found on the onsite signage.

If you have a concern relating to grazing animals or animal welfare contact the countryside team at