Wildlife charity introduces Water Buffalo at Thorley Wash
Photo courtesy of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust have introduced a herd of Water Buffalo to graze their Thorley Wash Nature Reserve, which lies to the south of Bishop’s Stortford and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The animals are considered to be the best livestock option to graze the 13 hectare wetland nature reserve, which is nestled between the River Stort navigation and the Stort backwater, near to the village of Spellbrook.
In the lead up to the herd’s arrival at Thorley Wash, the entire Nature Reserves Team at the Trust have worked together to prepare for the event, installing an electric fence as an additional barrier on top of normal stock fencing. A team of volunteers will make daily checks on the animals’ welfare.
In addition to the Water Buffalo grazing at Thorley Wash, the site is home to a rich variety of wildlife species, including the UK’s fastest declining mammal, the Water Vole, wildflowers such as Ragged Robin, Marsh Marigold, Fen Bedstraw, Cuckoo Flower and Marsh Orchids, and birds including Whitethroat, Blackcap, Cetti’s Warbler and Snipe.
Thorley Wash Nature Reserve is open to visitors throughout the year. As on any other site with grazing animals, visitors to Thorley Wash Nature Reserve are asked by the Trust to keep to the designated footpaths, have dogs on a short lead and heed the warning signs on the reserve – for their own protection, their dog’s and the animals in the Trust’s care.
You can find out more about Thorley Wash Nature Reserve at www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves