Cows boost the wildlife

GRIZZLED skippers and white admirals have been given a new lease of life near Fontwell, thanks to cows.

The bovines, at Fairmile Bottom alongside the A29 close to the village, have also boosted bee orchids, bats and birds as well as butterflies.

The cattle were brought back to the important area of countryside by West Sussex County Council’s countryside rangers.

Fairmile Bottom is a site of special scientific interest, managed by the council’s countryside services.

Cllr Lionel Barnard, the council’s cabinet member responsible for the countryside, said: “This is a valuable way to preserve and enhance this very important site. Nationally, we have lost more than 80 per cent of our chalk grassland during the past 60 years.

“By re-introducing cattle, we hope it will no longer be necessary to mow the land but, instead, we will still be able to maintain the site in peak condition using this traditional method.”

The cattles’ grazing and dung attract a wide range of insects and their predators.