Come and meet our cows and learn how they help the environment

30th September 2022


Residents are being given the chance to learn more about the natural benefits of meadow grazing and to meet the herd of cattle which now call Leavesden Country Park their home.

The Meet the Cattle event is being hosted by Countryside Management Service, supported by Three Rivers District Council, and is open to anyone who would like to know more about the herd of Red Devon Cattle, which reside in Horses’ Fields, between Furtherfield and Langley Lane. Council officers and the local grazier will be on hand to explain more about the cows, their behaviour and how they benefit the local environment.

The cattle arrived in the summer months and are helping to sustain a diverse grassland habitat through their natural activity - benefitting a wide variety of plants, animals, and birds under a plan known as conservation grazing.

The herd - made up of 14 cows - are a British heritage breed from Devon and are known for their docile, good nature and it is hoped they will swiftly settle into their new surroundings.

Cllr Chris Lloyd, the council's Lead Member for Leisure, said: “We know that conservation grazing is a great way to maintain our local diverse grassland habitats which has great benefits for plants, animals, and birds alike. This event will be a great opportunity for people to come and meet the herd, the people who look after them and to understand how to behave around this gentle breed.”

The conservation grazing taking place throughout the district is carefully monitored to prevent over grazing, under grazing, poaching of the ground and to protect more sensitive plants where necessary. 

Dog walkers are still welcome to use the footpaths across the Horses’ Fields, but all visitors are encouraged to abide by the Countryside Code. To protect dogs, the cattle and ground nesting birds, the council asks that they are kept on a lead when entering the enclosed area during the summer months. There is also a cattle free route around the edge of the field.

Red Devon Cattle are descendants of ancient cattle breeds from the South West of England. Known for their ruby red coat (sometimes leading to the name of Devon Ruby or Red Ruby), the breed are remarkably resilient, with a hardiness and ability to thrive on rough foliage making them an excellent choice for conservation grazing.

The Meet the Cattle event will be taking place at 3pm on Saturday 1 October at Horses’ Field. Residents are invited to meet at the entrance gates off Furtherfield.