Oxhey Village Environment Group | www.oveg.org
The horses were removed by Hertfordshire County council Rural Estates from Attenborough’s fields last October, the main reason for this decision was to stop the over grazing that had been a problem for a number of years.
This is the first summer without grazing. I realise many walkers miss the horses and their foals in the spring. However the benefits have been a fantastic display of grasses and wildflowers, I have noticed a number of flowers that have not established previously such as Pignut, Field Wood rush, Cuckoo Flower and huge amounts of birds foot trefoil. Butterflies are more numerous too with large numbers of Meadow Brown , Ringlet, Common Blue and Large Skipper. Other recent highlights are a hunting kestrel looking for small mammals in the long grass something I have never seen in 20 years.
Herts County council are committed to maintaining the fields for people and biodiversity, and have committed to the production of a new management plan to steer future work. It is taking rather a long time and we are still awaiting the completion of the document. An Initial introduction to the plan which we have seen stresses the importance of the veteran trees in the fields and the need to protect them. We also believe grazing will continue although livestock will only be present for part of the year.
Friends of Attenborough’s Fields have worked with Rural estates at Herts county Council for 25 years and have monthly work parties on the first Sunday of every month at 10am at our tool store at the entrance of Paddock Road allotments, if you are interested in learning about the fields, their wildlife or management come along and ask questions- we will be there Sunday 7th July 2019, for more information ring Robert Hopkins on 01923 241002