Sheep will begin grazing parts of British Camp from next week in an effort to conserve this important archaeological feature.
Trees and scrub have crept up the lower slopes of the 2,000-year-old monument and risk causing damage to the archaeology. Roots from larger, thicker vegetation can disturb and destroy the sensitive archaeology beneath the ground. Maintaining the open grassland on the monument protects and conserves this feature now and for future generations.
Although sheep freely graze the southern hills throughout the year, a small flock will be contained within temporary electric fencing to concentrate the grazing in particular areas where it is most needed.
Access into the compartments for the public will be maintained and we ask all visitors to keep their dogs on a lead in this area to keep the animals safe.
Beck Baker, Community and conservation officer said “We work closely with the graziers and have chosen the quietest time of year to move livestock onto this busy part of the Malvern Hills. Grazing is essential in caring for this ancient monument and we ask everyone to keep their dogs on a lead within the compartment and near grazing livestock to avoid sheep worrying incidents.”
Each year, sheep are killed by dogs on the Malvern Hills and Commons and due to the serious nature of this issue, the police may be involved.
Grazing is the most sustainable and natural way to manage the vegetation growing on the monument. Sheep are used rather than cattle due as they are smaller and won’t damage the monument as they graze.
It is not possible to manage the invading vegetation by machinery as this would damage the delicate archaeology and access on the steep slopes and ramparts would be impossible.
Signage will be placed around the compartment to remind visitors that livestock graze here. Stockwatch, the Trust’s notice with the locations of livestock on the Hills and Commons, is updated weekly by the Trust. Temporary fencing is erected under section 15 of the Malvern Hills Act 1995.
Grazing will also maintain the wide-ranging views from this popular location.