So if you watched carefully on BBC’s Countryfile on Sunday 23rd August you may have caught sight of our Belties on the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Petos Marsh at Carlton near Lowestoft. The belties do alot of important conservation grazing for the Trust at both Oulton and Carlton marshes as well as the Camps Heath Nature Reserve.
The Belties wrap their tongues around vegetation and pull it up in tufts, which creates an uneven sward in terms of length and a tussocky finish. They are good at pushing their way through scrub and creating open areas, in addition to eating longer and coarser grasses, reeds and willow. The low-intensity grazing provided by the cattle are promoting a shift from reed/scrub to grass and herbs, with plants such as wild mint, ragged robin, vetches and rare orchids flourishing on these wetland areas. The dung also provides habitat for invertebrates which results in an increase in butterflies and beetles and a richer habitat for flora and fauna.