Cattle playing part in saving special site

Cattle are being used on the cliffs near Runswick Bay to save flower rich grassland and seacliff flowers.

Hardy native cattle have been put on the Undercliff at Wrack Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest under a scheme by the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Coastal Forum to prevent the Site from being swamped by course grass, bracken and brambles, said project officer, John Beech.

A partnership of the landowner, Natural England and the North York Moors National Park Authority, are monitoring the scheme closely, he said. “Conservation grazing is being re-introduced on the cliffs wherever the land is suitable in terms of slope and access,” added Mr Beech.

Meanwhile talks are underway with key partner organisations about the current sea defences at Runswick Bay. Work carried out in 2000 is maintaining the slope and car parks at the bottom of the banks, said mr Beech, but the concrete wall north of the lifeboat house is under the spotlight because of its condition and lifespan.

A coastal defence strategy for the popular beauty spot is being drawn up to study all options for coast protection.