Cattle return to graze at Ditchling Common

Cattle grazing returns to Ditchling CommonCATTLE grazing is set to return to an East Sussex beauty spot – to safeguard it for the future.

Later this month (April 2015), livestock will be back at Ditchling Common Country Park following a successful season last year.
The park’s rare grassland habitat has resulted from grazing by commoners’ livestock over the centuries.

Grazing in recent years has shown favourable results in improving the wildlife value of the park, which is a designated site of special scientific interest.

Signs will be in place informing visitors of the grazing and requesting dog owners to keep their pet under close control in the areas where livestock are present.

Areas of the common will be grazed in rotation, with large areas left livestock-free to allow for visitors who don’t feel confident walking in areas where the animals are present.

Andy Mitchell, a senior ranger for East Sussex County Council, said: “Ditchling Common is one of the jewels in the crown of our countryside and it’s important its rare habitat is protected.

“The landscape here has been created from grazing over hundreds of years and remains the best way of ensuring it is preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Grazing is being undertaken in partnership with Plumpton Agricultural College, using Sussex suckler cattle, which have a more placid temperament than some cattle.

The animals keep bracken and scrub down by grazing, improving the environment for wildlife, including the rare species which inhabit the park.

More information on Ditchling Common Country Park and the grazing scheme is available online at or by calling 01273 482670.