Dogs on leads plea as sheep return to Avon Meadows

Sheep have returned to Avon Meadows for the first time in three years.

Traditionally sheep have been used each year as a natural way of promoting biodiversity on the site. But they were unable to do so in 2019 because of flooding and then it was decided not to use them on the meadows in 2020 because of the popularity of the site for exercise during the various lockdowns.

By allowing the woolly munchers to graze for a few weeks at this time of year they will remove nutrients which will prevent grass from growing and promote wildflower growth. Sheep poo will also return carbon to the soil which will improve its health.

About 180 sheep are on site and have been loaned from a nearby farm in Peopleton. They will be roaming around the meadows so people exercising with their dogs are being asked to keep them on a lead at all times.

Liz Etheridge, Wildlife Sites Project Officer for Wychavon District Council, said: "It's wonderful to see the sheep back on Avon Meadows. Using them for grazing is a great way of managing vegetation and creating a healthier more diverse habitat on the meadows to help the rest of nature to thrive. If the public could support this by keeping their dog on a lead when walking around the site, then we'd really appreciate it."

Liz Etheridge, Wildlife Sites Project Officer for Wychavon District Council, is asking people to keep their dog on a lead while using Avon Meadows to protect sheep that are grazing.
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