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Oreo Cows really do exist!
on 26th August, 2016
Meet Cristobel and Crocus! We’re delighted that we now have ‘Oreo cows’, also known as belted Galloway or belties!
These extremely hardy and adaptable to a wide range of habitats and environmental conditions, the Belted Galloway has proven value for both conservation use. A gentle, placid nature and attractive appearance makes the Belted Galloway perfect for grazing on the estate especially near to the popular footpaths.
Cristobel and Crocus are currently away from people near the wildlife park where they can get used to us and trained to follow bucket of food to make husbandry easier, having moved to us from Stonehouse, a hill farm in Cowgill, Dentdale from breeders of high quality Belted Galloway
They are a very hardy breed, particularly useful in our wet climate. Belties are extremely tolerant of wet Cumbrian weather – they have a thick mossy undercoat and long wavy overcoat that sheds rain, enabling them to graze contentedly through the wettest weather.
Soon, Cristabel and Crocus will be moving to the rough land adjacent to the SSSI lakeside Wood/Allerdale Ramble, where their distinctive coats will make them easily visible and you will be able to see them contentedly grazing if walking the Allerdale Ramble route between Scarness and Armathwaite Hall. The majority of this area is wet alder and willow woodland with marshy grassland alongside hawthorn, rose, blackthorn and some hazel. This area is ideal for the hardy, surefooted belties who are adept at grazing on steep slopes and amongst deep drainage ditches without causing poaching or erosion damage. The area also provides flatter areas are necessary for resting and ruminating.
The girls will do a very important job here where they fit into a system of conservation grazing. They are not particularly selective when feeding, so they take a wide range of grasses, shrubs and coarse herbs. They especially like the reeds, so they will love this area grass, reeds, rushes and nettles came up to mywaist and small willow tress abound. This light grazing colonisation of the wetland by trees, shrubs and coarser vegetation, allowing diverse plant communities and their associated animal life to develop