Cattle grazing and fencing at Stoke Park

Cattle grazing and fencing at Stoke Park

Cattle and goat grazing in Stoke Park, changes to gates and fencing and guidance for walking in fields with cattle in them.

What’s happening

Update:

A small herd of cattle will be brought in to graze at Stoke Park in spring 2020. 

Stoke Park has historically been used for grazing cattle.

Cattle grazing helps the land because it:

  • helps stop the spread of scrub and invasive, fast-growing trees, so that a wider range of grassland plants and wildlife can grow
  • provides a more sustainable and natural way to manage the land, particularly where scrub can’t be controlled by machines

As cattle grazing is re-introduced: 

  • fences will be put up that follow the line of old fences and where they are needed to stop cattle getting out of the field
  • pedestrian gates as well as squeeze points, this is access for people and dogs but not cattle, will be installed in the fences by taking into consideration the network of paths    
  • historic hedgerows will be restored
  • signs will be put up on site to direct you to the nearest gate

Using fields with cattle in

Cattle will be moved between fields in different parts of the estate from April to November. When cattle are grazing in a field, we’ll put up notices on the gates to the field. 

You’ll be able to walk through all fields with cattle in using a number of gates.  In fields where cattle are grazing you should: 

  • not approach, chase or feed the cattle
  • keep dogs on a lead at all times and if cattle approach your dog, let the lead go
  • shut gates behind you

If you want to avoid fields with cattle in, there are other areas of the estate you can walk in. 

In case of an emergency involving the cows such as injuries or dog attacks call David Baverstock and Son on 0770 468233.

Goat grazing in the WWII anti aircraft gun battery

A small number of goats were brought in to graze in the gun battery from June to September 2019.  These goats have now been moved off the site, but another group of goats will be brought in the new year.

This is to help control the growth of bramble, scrub and trees.  If left unchecked, this vegetation would damage and prevent access to this important Scheduled Monument

Grazing will take place for limited number of weeks each year.

You'll be able to walk through the gun battery when goats are grazing but we ask you follow the guidance below:

  • don't approach, chase or feed the goats
  • keep dogs on a lead at all times when goats are grazing
  • follow advice on goat-grazing times: notices will be located on the grazing areas to advise you when goats are grazing 
  • shut gates behind you

Proposed changes to cattle fences and gates: response to feedback

Based on feedback about proposed changes to the cattle fences around the Vench, and installation of additional gates, we’ve decided to:

  • remove the fencing in front of the Vench: moving it back to the hedgeline to the east and west of the Vench
  • install 18 additional gates

These changes will now be carried out.

For details see our Stoke Park plans:

The feedback was received from:

  • an online form following published revised plans
  • emails before and after the revised plans were issued
  • the ‘walk and talk’ on the 26 January 2019
  • independent conversations including with a walking group

Stoke Park Risk Assessment around grazing

In running our estates we carry out risk assessments related to management and activities taking place.  This cattle grazing risk assessment (pdf, 128KB) (opens new window) relates to cattle grazing being introduced at Stoke Park. At the request of a number of interested parties we are publishing it.