Three Sussex cattle have arrived at Woods Mill for the summer and are now receiving visitors in Little Meadow. Reserves Officer Steve Tillman explained why they are there:
Using cattle to control grass and vegetation growth is the ideal way to create the best habitat for a variety of wildlife. Ground nesting birds such as snipe will benefit from naturally grazed pasture as will a huge range of grasses and wild flowers, as well as barn owls who fly over the fields at dawn and dusk searching for field voles.
Woods Mill nature reserve is home to a wide variety of dragonflies including brown and southern hawkers, red and ruddy darters, black tailed skimmers and even the rare scarce chaser. Damselflies, easily spotted during the late spring and summer, include both the beautiful and the banded demoiselle and the powder blue azure damselflies. Grazing itself creates a variety of different length grasses while droppings from the cattle will attract the midges and flies that dragonflies and damselflies feed on.
Update, 5th June 2013: another eight have arrived.