Calves born at WWT Martin Mere despite heavy rain (Southport)

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Calves born at WWT Martin Mere despite heavy rain

Four Long-horn calves have been born at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, helping the Centre to traditionally manage the reserve.   The calves can be viewed from the community reedbed walk and they were born last weekend despite the heavy rain and wind.

Martin Mere has a herd of traditional Long Horn cattle as they are ideal for grazing on wetlands and have been nicknamed ‘wetland lawnmowers’. Their hoof marks leave perfect hollows in the ground for birds such as lapwings and redshank to nest in and they graze by leaving tuffs of grass which double up as shelter and safety for the chicks, especially when birds of prey are hovering above. Additionally, the manure attracts a variety of insects and worms that the chicks will feed on when they are born.

Centre Manager, Nick Brooks, said: “Cattle are very important in the way we manage and maintain the reserve and it is going to be another excellent breeding season for the Centre. It is great that visitors can learn about how we manage the reserve by watching the cattle graze from the hides, and the calves are always popular to view”.

Management of the Martin Mere reserve is supported by Natural England under an Environmental Stewardship Scheme as part of the Rural Development Programme for England.  Other reserve management techniques such as haymaking and seasonal water control have meant that Martin Mere is a best practice reserve in the country, recently being awarded high level countryside stewardship because of the way we encourage the number of BAP species which use our 600 acres of reserve.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

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