How now red cow? Herd of Red Devon cattle arrive to chomp council’s grassland

05th August 2022


A herd of cattle has arrived in Leavesden County Park this week as part of an initiative to utilise grazing to naturally maintain the meadow grass.

The herd of Red Devon Cattle arrived on Thursday at the Horses’ Fields, between Furtherfield Road and Langley Lane, where they will help 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 which are 18 months old - 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 Phil Williams, the council's Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, said: “Conservation grazing is a great way to maintain our local diverse grassland habitats which has great benefits for plants, animals, and birds alike. I am personally delighted to see this lovely breed of Red Devon Cattle roaming around the green and pleasant Leavesden County Park.”


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 Southwest 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 cattle are regularly checked by their farmer. However, if you see anything that you feel needs reporting, please contact 01923 776611.