Stockwatch

The Hills and Commons are grazed by livestock all year round.  This grazing helps protect the natural beauty, flora and fauna, and the wonderful views too.

Grazing is undertaken through Malvern Hills Trust's projects, where livestock are fenced within temporary compartment, and also by local people who hold commoners rights to graze their cattle and sheep.  

Visitors to the Malvern Hills are welcome to explore the areas within the temporary grazing compartments, which can be accessed through pedestrian gates.  Please remember to keep your dog on a lead near livestock and under close control at all times as livestock may be found anywhere at any time.


Livestock within temporary electric-fenced compartments can be found in the following locations:

Northern Hills

Cattle and sheep with lambs on West Worcestershire Beacon.  

Central Hills

Cattle on West Pinnacle Hill. Sheep returning to West Pinnacle Hill on Monday.

Southern Hills

Sheep may be found freely grazing from British Camp to Gullet Quarry.  

Cattle on east Ragged Stone Hill.

Old Hills

Cattle no longer on the Old Hills.

Map of grazing compartments (northern and central hills) (PDF)

Cattle and sheep with lambs can be found throughout Castlemorton and Hollybed Commons at this time.


You can sign up to receive weekly updates to your email inbox here.  Stockwatch is also published in the Malvern Gazette every Friday.

Stockwatch provides information on the locations of livestock for the Malvern Hills Trust's projects where temporary electric-fenced compartments are erected. Temporary fencing is erected under section 15 of the Malvern Hills Act 1995.

As most of our land is Common Land, commoners do graze livestock freely across the Hills and Commons and members of the public should therefore be ready to encounter livestock anywhere and at anytime.  The locations of these livestock are not included in Stockwatch. 

Please remember that dogs must be kept under close control at all times.  Unless you are certain you can recall your dog immediately, whatever the circumstances, please keep your dog on a lead at all times.


Sheep in lamb

At this time of year, many of the sheep found in the countryside will be pregnant with spring lambs.  During pregnancy, sheep are more sensitive to disturbance by dogs.  Being chased by a dog can cause a pregnant sheep to abort their lamb which is a distressing experience for the animal and grazier. You may also find lambs in some areas around the Malvern Hills and Commons landscape. Please make sure you keep your dog on a lead within the grazing compartments and anywhere near livestock.

On Sunday 25th February, three sheep were chased out of their grazing compartment by a brown dog.  One of the sheep was found at St Ann's Well where is was secured in the Well Room until the grazier arrived to collect it and return it to its flock.  None of the sheep were visibly injured although they will all have experience fear and severe stress by being chased by the dog.  


Commoner's Rights

Of the land we care for, 90% is registered Common Land.  This means that local people have the traditional right to graze a set number of sheep or cattle on the Hills and Commons.  

Although the numbers of active commoners who are turning out livestock has decreased, rights still exist and at any time people could choose to put livestock back on the Hills.  This grazing would be outside of our grazing projects so would not be enclosed and therefore we are not able to provide information for visitors on their location through Stockwatch.

Please make sure that if you're visiting with your dog that you're prepared to meet livestock at any time.  MHT are not responsible for any animals not within the Trust's grazing projects.

Find out more about Common Land - Foundation for Common Land 


Livestock worrying - Stock count

We will be keeping a running tally of dog attacks on livestock throughout 2024 to highlight the frequency of these events on the Malvern Hills.

From the 1st January 2024
Number of chasing incidents - 2
Number of attacks on livestock - 0
Number of livestock deaths - 0

Dog attacks on sheep are distressing for everyone involved; the sheep, the dog, the grazier and the dog owner.

By following signage and putting your dog on a lead near livestock you can put an end to these incidents and remove the worry when walking your dog in this farmed landscape.  All breeds of dog could chase sheep and even well-trained dogs can become fixated on livestock, so please put your dog on a lead near the cattle and sheep, and don't put your pet in that position.

Thank you.

From the 1st January 2023 to 31st December 2023
Number of chasing incidents - 9
Number of attacks on livestock - 3
Number of livestock deaths - 0

Not all livestock worrying incidents are witnessed or reported to us so this tally is an underrepresentation of the actual number.

Updated 4th March 2024


Reporting an incident

Each and every year, we receive reports from the public and from the graziers that sheep and cattle have been chased and attacked by dogs.  Livestock worrying is a criminal offence. To report livestock worrying by dogs, which includes chasing, on the Hills or Commons call the Police on 101.  Please also call the office on 01684 892002 so we can alert the grazier to attend.  The faster the animal can receive emergency veterinary treatment the better its chances of recovery.