Rare Breed grazing trial at Dalditch Plantation

Rare breeds of ponies or cattle could be introduced to an area of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths as part of a sustainable management programme

/_assets/kor_rarebreedgrazingtrial.email.jpg

Rare Breed grazing trial at Dalditch Plantation

Rare breeds of ponies or cattle could be introduced to an area of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths as part of a sustainable management programme.

The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust is talking to rare breed farmers about introducing animals to graze Dalditch plantation.

Ten years ago a conifer plantation was felled to make way for a mosaic of lowland heath.  This proved to be very successful, with both flora and fauna flourishing.  Rare species such as the Dartford Warbler and Nightjars are now a regular sight on the Commons which are owned by Clinton Devon Estates.

 However, to stop trees re-establishing themselves and to prevent the gorses and bracken taking-over, the area has had to be managed with spraying and with machinery including tractors and cutters.

 Now, as part of a trial, the Trust is talking to rare breed pony and cattle farmers about introducing livestock to do this management naturally, by grazing.

 Grazing has already proved successful in others parts of the estate, including Woodbury Common.

 "Although we will need to reinstate the fence we do not intend to stop the community from enjoying the heaths, so we are planning to introduce bridleway gates to give people access," said Commons Warden Bungy Williams. "This means that people will still have free use of the area, and at the same time be able to see our grazing scheme at work. "

 "We would very much like to hear what local people who use Dalditch Plantation think of our plans. And if the negotiations with rare breed farmers are successful, the ponies or cattle will be brought in sometime in the new year."

 

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

We are trustees for life of the countryside

– 22nd Baron Clinton, 2002

to set out against the Scots, the King’s enemies and rebels

– Instructions given by Edward 1 to John de Clinton on 8th April 1298, prior to him leading the Royal army to victory at the Battle of Falkirk. As a direct result the Clinton Barony was formed on 22nd July 1299

…and the Lord Clinton was, by the whole Council, brought to the King’s presence, who after like thanks was given, was pleased that he should be made High Admiral of England and one of his Privy Council…

– Official record of appointment of 9th Baron Clinton as Lord High Admiral for life on 4th May 1550