Elan Cattle Grazing

Traditionally, small-scale cattle keeping formed a key part of farming in Elan Valley. Today, only a handful of farms continue this practice. We know that having cattle grazing extensively on the open hill and on some enclosed habitats is hugely beneficial for nature – helping to maintain an open sward where a host of different plants, fungi and animals can thrive.

We want to encourage farmers to carry on keeping cattle, at increased numbers and to graze cattle on key habitats where they can be most beneficial for nature. This project will support farmers to do this by helping to overcome some of the barriers that exist to cattle farming.

The project will encourage and facilitate small-scale cattle keeping on farm holdings in the Elan Links area.  This will benefit nature and species diversity. Importantly, there is also good evidence that keeping cattle helps to improve grazing quality for sheep, creating a win-win for nature and farm productivity.

Over the next five years, the project aims to achieve:

  • At least five farm holdings supported to reintroduce and/or increase cattle numbers
  • Development of an Elan Links ‘cattle group’ for interested farmers to share best practice
  • 45 secured cows grazing the Elan Links area
  • All Elan Links farmers informed about the project
  • End of project report with recommendations for future activity
  • Interpretation to a wider audience

Download the project plan.