Cattle grazing and fencing at Stoke Park

Cattle and goat 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 and goats in them.

What’s happening

Stoke Park has historically been used for grazing.

Grazing helps the land because it:

  • helps control invasive scrub and creates mixed grass length, so that wildflowers can grow, encouraging insects and other wildlife
  • provides a more sustainable, cost effective and natural way to manage the land

Cattle grazing

Cattle will be moved between fields in different parts of the estate between May and November. 

They will start in the Pond Field, next to the Duchess Pond. View map (pdf, 269KB) (opens new window) .

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

  • not approach, chase or feed the cattle
  • stay calm and walk slowly away, if a cow approaches you
  • keep dogs on a short lead at all times
  • shut gates behind you

In case of an emergency involving the cows such as injuries, or for any concerns about the cattle’s welfare or behaviour, call Grazier Toby on 0785 971 4223.

Goat grazing in the WWII anti aircraft gun battery

From mid-December 2020 through to March 2021 there will be 6 to 8 goats on site depending on the vegetation growth.

The goats’ primary purpose is to graze the scrub that has grown up around the Purdown Gun Battery. 

Depending on how they get on, and the vegetation, they may be back again in May to June 2021 in the lead up to the summer holidays. 

There will be a:

  • small shelter for the goats to provide them with some protection from the weather and a quiet place to rest
  • water trough inside the enclosure to ensure that they have plenty of water

Volunteers and the Street Goat team will be on site regularly to keep an eye on the animals and to provide them with hay and anything else they may need. 

Working with Street Goat in this way has multiple benefits to the site and community:

  • Keeping the scrub managed will help to preserve this precious piece of World War 2 heritage. 
  • Less scrub means better views of the monument, the park and Bristol, and also make the area feel safer and more loved.
  • Grazing the scrub using goats (as opposed to using a strimmer or mower) helps to promote better habitat for wildlife. 
  • Gives volunteers from the local community an opportunity to learn new skills and get closer to nature.
  • Allows visitors to the park an opportunity to learn more about goats and the benefits they bring.

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

If you’re concerned about touching gates during this time, there is an alternative route that goes around the edge of the fenced area. 

The goats are the property of Street Goat and they will be responsible for their welfare. Contact Street Goat to raise any concerns.

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.

You can read our goat grazing risk assessment (pdf, 160KB) (opens new window)  for the goat grazing at Stoke Park.