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Rare breed cattle arrive at Ranscombe Reserve

Seven Belted Galloways, a distinctive ‘humbug’ patterned rare breed are helping Plantlife to manage Ranscombe Farm Reserve’s acres of wild flower meadow for the community to enjoy.

May 14 2015

Belted Galloways are one of the UK’s most distinctive breeds of cattle. Hardy and good natured, they originate from the Galloway hills in south west Scotland.

This remarkable animal thrives in any climate and, being slow to mature, their beef has a flavour and texture that is the envy of many other breeds. The cows live far longer than other breeds; many often well into their twenties. The small herd at Ranscombe will help restore 75 acres of meadows by keeping grass and weeds under control, so allowing the wild flowers to thrive.

A team of local volunteers have been trained with help from the Kent Wildlife Trust to act as ‘cow herds’, checking on the cattle every day to ensure they are healthy and happy.

Richard Moyse, the reserve Manager, comments ‘When Plantlife bought Ranscombe, the reserve had suffered years of neglect. Working alongside our tenant farmer and with thanks to SITA Trust, this new grazing project will help with the continued restoration of this very special place. Not only will the cattle help manage our wild flower meadows but, in one virtuous circle, their delicious beef will be sold through our farmer Andrew Lingham’s award-winning farm shop. So, supporting a local business and community-supported countryside management - it’s a win-win situation.’

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