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New Grazier For Town Council Sites

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Thetford Town Council is pleased to introduce a new grazier for its open spaces from April 2024.

Cllr Hazel McCambridge, Grazier Charles Clack, Thetford Town Council Amenities Officer Nick Thompson on Barnham Cross Common.

Charles Clack and Matthew Rouston, local farmers with extensive experience in livestock management, will be responsible for grazing cattle and sheep on Barnham Cross Common and Ford Meadow and for the first time in many years, sheep will also be used to graze parts of Castle Park. These open space areas are environmentally and historically significant and must be managed in a way that supports their conservation through an agreed management plan. Barnham Cross Common is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and Castle Park is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Barnham Common is one of the best examples of Breckland grass heaths and includes calcareous, acid and fixed dune grassland. These habitats support a range of animals and plants including several rare or scarce species. Conservation grazing is recommended by Natural England and helps to maintain and enhance the biodiversity of the land.

Councillor Hazel McCambridge, Vice Chair of the Council’s Amenities Committee said: “I am very pleased that Thetford Town Council are able to manage these green spaces in our town in a way that encourages plants and insects which are very special to Breckland. We are really lucky to have this opportunity to work with graziers who are passionate about wildlife, sharing their knowledge with the community and helping us see these special areas flourish.”

Mr Clack and Mr Rouston, owners of Regency Agricultural Services, will work closely with the council and the local community to ensure that the grazing is carried out in a sustainable and respectful manner. Mr Clack commented: “We are delighted to have been successful with our bid to take on the council’s grazing sites. We look forward to introducing our stock this spring and working with the council to better manage the sites. It is important to us to engage with the public on all sites to build a better understanding of livestock and farming in general.”

All grazed sites will also carry signage with information regarding the animals and emergency contact details. The council is keen to remind residents to be considerate of the animals when using the grazed areas and to follow the instructions and guidance on the signs. Importantly, dogs must be kept on leads at all times when accessing the sites and any dog fouling must be cleaned up immediately. For more information regarding the grazing and history of the herd, visit our website at: www.thetfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or follow the Thetford Town Council social media channels. You can also contact the Thetford Town Council team by emailing using: [email protected]

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