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

What's happening

Stoke Park has historically been used for grazing and cattle were reintroduced to the estate in 2021.

Grazing parts of the estate helps the land because it:

  • helps control invasive scrub
  • creates mixed grass length, so wildflowers can grow, encouraging insects and other wildlife
  • promotes greater biodiversity of species
  • provides a more sustainable, cost effective and natural way to manage the land
  • provides homes to insects in cow pats
  • restores species rich grasslands as part of Bristol's commitment to managing green spaces for nature

Grazing the land is a requirement of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, a grant awarded by Defra that helps us to restore and improve the landscape of Stoke Park.

Cattle grazing

Cattle will be moved between fields in different parts of the estate from spring until the winter when ground conditions become too wet.

When cows are on site, there will be signs on all gates where the cows are grazing to advise the public when entering the fields.

You can walk through all fields with cattle in. In fields where cattle are grazing you should: 

  • keep dogs on a short lead at all times, and if cattle approach your dog, let the lead go to allow the dog to run to safety
  • shut gates behind you
  • stay calm and walk slowly away, if a cow approaches you

You should not approach, chase or feed the cattle.

Goat grazing in the WWII anti aircraft gun battery

Goat grazing has stopped at the Purdown Gun Battery while the new path is built.

Check this page for updates on the return of goats to Stoke Park.

The goats' primary purpose is to graze the scrub around the Purdown Gun Battery. 

There is 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. 

Using goats to manage the scrub:

  • helps to preserve this Second World War heritage land 
  • gives better views of the monument, the park and Bristol
  • makes the area feel safer and more loved
  • manages the land in a more natural way than using a strimmer or mower
  • gives local volunteers a chance to learn new skills and get closer to nature
  • allows visitors to the park to learn more about goats and the benefits they bring

You can walk through the gun battery when goats are grazing. You should:

  • keep dogs on a lead at all times when goats are grazing
  • follow advice on goat grazing times, notices will be on the grazing areas 
  • shut gates behind you

Do not approach, chase, or feed the goats.

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

Street Goat are responsible for the goats' welfare. Contact Street Goat if you're concerned about the goats.

Volunteering

If you're interested in getting involved with projects at Stoke Park visit our parks volunteering page. Visit the Street Goat website if you'd like to volunteer with the goats.