We manage Cannock Chase Country Park which is a beautiful area of heathland and wood pasture in the south of the county.
Since 2016 we have been discussing and developing management proposals for the country park, discussing different options. This included types of management that have been used for many years on the Chase, such as cutting and controlled burning of heather, cutting and spot treating trees and scrub, and cutting and spraying bracken. The options also included reintroducing grazing with livestock, which was the traditional way the Chase was managed before the Great War.
The purpose of these discussions was to inform how the site should be managed under a new 10-year countryside stewardship scheme starting in 2019. The scheme must move the habitats on the Chase into 'favourable condition' for wildlife, which is a legal requirement reflecting the national and international significance of the site.
Update August 2021 - grazing pilot
August marks the start of the grazing pilot scheme at Moors Gorse, Cannock Chase.
The pilot has been delayed due to the pandemic, but work to make the area ready for grazing has now been completed and this small area of heathland and woodland near the Visitor Centre will be grazed by up to six Hereford traditional breed cattle until the autumn.
The area has been fenced to keep the cattle safe and a water supply and handling area installed. The fence includes special features to make it easy for deer and other wildlife to move through the area.
Cattle grazing will restore the natural management that heaths evolved with, and is more sustainable than other methods. This will help to more naturally manage the vegetation to create the best conditions to support a whole range of heathland wildlife. Find out more about Moors Gorse. The area will remain fully accessible by foot as now; this scheme does not impact on any public footpaths or bridleways.
To find out more see our frequently asked questions.