This year’s herd visit was kindly hosted by Jeremy Perkins of the Two Mills herd of Belted Galloways. Jeremy grazes a number of Suffolk Wildlife Trust sites, and private reserves with his herds of Belties, Riggits and Black Galloways.
A convoy of 30 members in 4×4’s set off from The Golden Key Pub in Snape after lunch, heading down to the beautiful setting of the new Suffolk Wildlife Trust Stanny Reserve on the banks of the River Alde, a stunning location. Here Jeremy showed us his group of Belted Galloways currently on grazing marshes adjacent to the River. Grazing Manager Jane Barber explained the important role the cattle provide to the Wildlife on these types of sites. From the marsh we walked up to the river wall where Reserve Manager Carl Answell set out the Trusts plans for the future of this new reserve site which will be the subject of controlled flooding over the coming years to provide important habitat for wetland birds.
From the Stanny site the convoy then travelled to a privately owned Nature Reserve/Rewilding site near Sutton Hoo as guests of Daisy and Joe Greenwell. Another beautiful location this time overlooking the River Deben. Here Jeremy’s Group of Riggit Galloways proved a little more difficult to locate (a common dilemma to those of us grazing these types of sites!), but eventually emerged from the Woodland on the site where we could view the group.
We then returned to Snape where we walked down to the final SWT site to view a mixed group of Galloways including Blacks, Belts and Riggits, where everyone’s eye was caught by a very bonny wee black riggit heifer calf.
Finally the group returned to the Golden Key Pub for alcohol, food and chat into the evening!
A big thanks to Jeremy for hosting and managing to keep the convoy together on the narrow lanes, to Jane and Carl for providing an interesting insight into the grazing aims on the various sites to the staff at the Golden Key for providing much needed refreshment at the end of the day and of course to everyone who came along, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!