Published Tuesday, 17th April 2018

City of York Council is urging dog owners to take the lead and follow the countryside code when cattle are reintroduced onto Strays across York later this month.

The countryside code encourages everyone to respect other people and animals, protect the environment and enjoy the outdoors. This is particularly important when cattle are reintroduced onto the city’s strays for grazing to help manage the land.

Dog owners are being encouraged to be responsible around cattle. This includes keeping dogs on a lead when near cattle as they can spook them, picking up dog waste as this can spread disease and closing gates to ensure cattle don’t escape.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said: “York has several stunning strays and nature reserves which we want to protect for generations to come. Many of these are part of  agri-environment schemes which cover the most environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands by working alongside farmers.

“So that everyone can enjoy the areas safely I would urge dog walkers to act responsibly and follow the countryside code. This will help to ensure that these historic areas can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

Grazing is a recognised form of managing grassland, including on nature reserves, throughout Britain.  Since 2010 Hob Moor, Bootham Stray, including the Clifton Backies nature reserve, and Walmgate Stray are in  Higher Level Stewardship agreements with Natural England.  The management prescriptions to which we have to comply for the sites include grazing and hay cutting to support the wildlife interest of open grassland, rather than be intensively managed or being left to scrub over.

For information on walking near livestock visit www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/safety/walking-near-livestock.aspx

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