Tyne & Wear

Cattle to boost Kielder Forest wildlife

Cattle at Kielder
Image caption The cattle will graze in an area known as Plashetts

Cattle are being used in bid to encourage wildlife in a Northumberland forest.

A number of Simmental cattle will be grazing in an area of grassland in Kielder Water and Forest Park.

It is hoped their tramping and dung will lead to a more diverse eco-system on the site at Plashetts, part of which is ancient semi-natural woodland.

Kielder is home to the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe and the biggest working forest in England.

Its 250 square miles, which contain eight ancient woodland sites, also produces 25% of all English grown timber.

Tom Dearnley, from the Forestry Commission, said: "Wood pasture is a rare habitat in Northumberland and this is a really great opportunity to see how livestock influences native woodland eco-systems.

"Among species which could benefit are plants such as orchids and insects that live in sheltered grassland glades, like the small-pearl bordered fritillary butterfly."

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