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Current proposals

Having looked carefully at the feedback and suggestions people made, we have amended the proposals to address the concerns that were raised while still meeting legal requirements and trying to get the best results for wildlife, heritage and for people’s enjoyment of the site.

People enjoy the mix of open heath, grassland, trees and woodlands within the Country Park.

People enjoy the mix of open heath, grassland, trees and woodlands within the Country Park.

The revised proposals include:

  • In order to meet our legal requirements for the site, we propose to use all the available management methods in combination. We need all the tools in the toolbox to bring the site into favourable condition. This would include cutting heather, some controlled burning of heather, cutting and spot treating trees and scrub, and bracken spraying plus grazing with livestock. 
       
  • We propose a phased reintroduction of grazing over an extended period, starting with a small pilot scheme at Moors Gorse. Work on the pilot scheme starts in 2019 with around 4-6 cattle grazing the site from 2020. The pilot allows us to test invisible fencing while also enabling people to see conservation grazing in practice on a small area of the site.
       
  • We would then develop proposals for grazing in late 2020-2021 working closely with local residents and user groups to ensure we get the best scheme possible to meet all needs; a formal consultation would be held and the decision for this scheme would be made by the Planning Inspectorate / Secretary of State. If approved, implementation would start in 2023.
     
    PDF Document  Brindley Heath (1.4 MB)
       
  • We would then work with residents and user groups to develop detailed proposals for the body of the Chase in 2022-3; as above a formal consultation would inform the scheme which would be determined by the Planning Inspectorate / Secretary of State. If approved, implementation would start in 2025 with cattle brought onto the site in 2026.

    PDF Document  Cannock Chase grazing options (1.4 MB)
       
  • While the detail of the scheme for the main body of the Chase would be developed over coming years, there are a number of principles we propose at this stage based on the engagement work we have undertaken so far and the suggestions people made. These include:
      
    • An area at the northern end of the site would be left un-grazed within the ten-year management scheme to reduce the impact on residential areas and allow a recreational area where no cattle would be encountered – a potential fence line is shown on the map:
      PDF Document  Map (1.4 MB).
         
    • The scheme would include compartments so that large parts of the site would be un-grazed at any time so that people can avoid cattle if they wish
         
    • There would be conventional fencing near roads and residential areas for safety reasons and to give people confidence using the un-grazed area at the top of the site
          
    • Appropriate gates for rights of way and well used paths will be provided to ensure the site remains fully accessible
         
    • We hope to use invisible or ‘virtual’ fencing for internal compartments where possible to reduce impacts of fencing on landscape and recreation
         
    • There would be an information system to let people know where the cattle are at any time so that if they wish to avoid them they can.

The New Forest has successfully combined conservation grazing with high levels of recreational use for many years.

The New Forest has successfully combined conservation grazing with high levels of recreational use for many years.

Find out about proposed time scales for the scheme.

Conservation grazing is carried out at very low densities, using docile native breeds. We have looked at proposed fence lines for the schemes, considering impacts on recreation, how to blend them into the landscape, how to minimise impacts on deer, and ensuring we don’t impact on archaeological features. For the main body of the Chase and Brindley Heath there will be further discussions with local residents and user groups, including looking at access points.

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