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

A small herd of goats were re-introduced to Stoke Park at the beginning of February 2023.

The goats are here 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 anything they may need.

Using goats to manage the scrub:

  • manages the land in a more natural way than using machinery
  • maintains a mosaic habitat which provides shelter and basking sites for insects and reptiles
  • helps to preserve this Second World War heritage land
  • gives better views of the monument, the park and Bristol
  • gives local volunteers a chance to learn new skills and get closer to nature
  • means visitors to the park can learn more about goats and their role in land management

You can walk through the gun battery when goats are grazing and there will be signs to let you know that they're there.

You should:

  • keep dogs on a lead at all times
  • not approach, chase, or feed the goats, these are working animals who have a job to do
  • shut gates behind you

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.


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.