Adam Henson meets Surrey’s conservation cows on Countryfile
PUBLISHED: 09:31 04 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:40 04 May 2016
Two Surrey Life columnists collide on this week’s BBC Countryfile, with presenter Adam Henson and his camera crew paying a visit to Surrey Wildlife Trust’s grazing team.
They spent two days filming at Pond Farm, near Wisley, finding out about the important role livestock plays in conserving Surrey’s wildlife.
“Surrey Wildlife Trust is running a really effective programme, where they actually breed their own livestock for use in conservation grazing, which is very beneficial for wildlife,” says Adam.
“They’ve got a great team at Pond Farm and they made us very welcome – the Belties were also very well behaved and we had a super couple of days filming with them.”
The stars of the show were the Trust’s herd of Belted Galloway cows, but the sheep and goats were also featured for the different roles they play in managing various habitats.
The TV presenter, who runs his own farm in Gloucestershire and has a particular interest in rare breeds and grazing animals, chatted with James Adler, head of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s grazing team, about the different grazing capabilities of the animals.
“Grazing is just one of the tools we use to manage land in the best way for conserving wildlife,” says James.
“Our animals can access areas that machinery can’t and livestock have less impact than burning or cutting would, so allowing wildlife to thrive.
“The weather was very kind to us and the BBC team, which allowed for some greats shots of our 30-acre acre farm in Wisley.
They say never work with children or animals – but our animals were truly on their best behaviour and performed right on cue for the camera. Even our rather camera-shy goats were tempted into the spotlight with some tasty gorse.”
Farm manager Steve Proud also introduced Adam to some of the Trust’s gorgeous new-born calves – more than 80 new arrivals are expected this year.
The Countryfile team also filmed the cows as they were released on National Trust land at Petersham Meadows, near Richmond – as part of the Trust’s contract grazing programme.
The Trust started its conservation grazing project with just three animals in 2007. As well as some 375 cattle, it now has goats and sheep. It also uses deer for managing habitats in the county.
The Trust’s five minutes of fame on BBC Countryfile is due to be broadcast on Sunday May 8 – so tune in to BBC One on Sunday evening to spot Surrey Wildlife Trust on TV!
• Surrey Wildlife Trust and Adam Henson both have monthly columns in Surrey Life magazine. Never miss out on your copy, by taking advantage of our latest money-saving subscription offer.