Rare cattle aid Budleigh Salterton 'green' land trial

A HERD of rare Devon Reds have been tasked to graze land near Budleigh Salterton in a year-long trial into sustainable land management.

A HERD of rare Devon Reds have been tasked to graze land near Budleigh Salterton in a year-long trial into sustainable land management.

The cattle are on the Clinton Devon Estate-owned Pebblebed Heaths in a bid to naturally open up wet areas and reduce the scrub.

Until now the land has been sprayed and managed mechanically with tractors and cutters.

Commons warden Bungy Williams said: "Not only is this incredibly difficult in a wetland area, it is not as environmentally-friendly as we would like which is why we are testing more sustainable methods.

"In just a few weeks these heavy footed cattle have already opened up some of the wet areas.

On the Dalditch plantation the cattle are fenced in.

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Walkers and horse riders have full access to the land thanks to newly-installed bridleway gates.

"We are very keen that people have free use of the area, as before, and at the same time they can see our grazing scheme at work," said Mr Wiliams.