Sheep return to Hills and Holes

 Please note that the sheep will soon be present on the reserve. We would like to provide a reminder that it is extremely important that dogs are kept on leads during the time the sheep are grazing on the reserve. Even the most well behaved dog can cause stress and disturbance to these animals and a dog off its lead will also encourage others to think this is acceptable for their dog. These animals provide a very special service in helping to manage the reserve. Particularly this year with the lush growth present in many areas it is important to graze as much of this as possible. I am sure that you have noticed the different densities of grass and other vigorous plant species in certain areas of the reserves with many paths disappearing this year under the dense vegetation. Without grazing this will only extend in future years and reduce the profusion of flora we see on the reserve during the spring and summer. The effect of successful long term grazing can be seen in the South West compartment (furthest from the two roads which border the reserve) where over 50 years of consistent management has produced an environment supporting the largest populations of Pasque flowers and Orchids plus the broadest range of flora on the reserve. With the help of the sheep this is gradually being extended into the other quadrants so please assist them in their work by leaving them undisturbed and untroubled.