Grazing Returns to the South Gower Coast

Our Overton Mere Nature Reserve on the South Gower Coast, is a very special place. The reserve is of national importance for the assemblage of calcareous grassland plants it supports, such as Spring Squill, Autumn Ladies-Tresses and Hoary Rock Rose.

But this special habitat is under threat from lack of grazing. Grazing is essential for the maintenance of species-rich wildlife habitats by controlling aggressive and invasive species, sustaining open and wooded habitats and creating gaps for new species to germinate.

The calcareous grassland habitat at Overton Mere is slowly but surely being overrun with Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus) and staff and volunteers are starting to lose the battle with this tenacious shrub.

This winter, for the first time in 35 years, we have brought in extra troops in the form of a small herd of ponies and cattle!

A partnership formed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, Natural Resources Wales, PONT (Pori Natur a Threftadaeth), Nature and Heritage, Gower Meadow Beef, Tor Coed Welsh Mountain Ponies and the National Trust have worked together to install the infrastructure to support grazing animals on Overton Mere once again.

And so in early December, we released some Welsh Mountain Ponies and hardy Dexter cattle out on the Mere to start work!

We are really excited to see grazing back on the South Gower Coast and are looking forward to monitoring the effects of their hard work during wildflower surveys over the next few years.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul