Meet “589”, or Josephine to give her her correct name.
Josephine is a Red Poll cow who has a special job as part of the conservation grazing herd at Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve in Southport.
This week Josephine became the guinea pig for “Cow App” (can a cow be a guinea pig?) – potentially a fun way to find out where the cows are grazing in the dunes.
Josephine is fitted with a trial GPS collar which transmits her precise position throughout the day – allowing you to track her whenever she’s on the moo-ve.
Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership is trialling “Cow App” – using GPS tracking collars on some of these animals this winter, so members of the public can find out where the cattle are on Ainsdale and Birkdale dunes via an easy to use app.
Details of how to download the free app can be found on Sefton Council’s website at www.sefton.gov.uk/cowapp
The plan is for positions for the grazing cattle will be transmitted from the collars regularly, with this information being fed onto mapping software, to show the precise location of the animals within fenced grazing areas in the dunes.
This is a trial, in conjunction with Sefton Council’s coast and countryside team, and it may be that Josephine decides her new hi-tech necklace is not for her, but she seems comfortable with it at present.
Sheep and cows have been used for conservation grazing on the coast in winter for almost 20 years, and last year the Herdwick sheep at Ainsdale were joined by Shorthorn and Belted Galloway cows.
This year alongside the sheep, a herd of Red Poll cattle will be chomping their way through the rank vegetation of autumn and winter, so that come the spring, the specialised dune flora and fauna can flourish.
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