Anti-social behaviour putting Wiltshire farmers and livestock at risk
Date of alert:
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Local farmers have pleaded for people to respect the countryside after months of anti-social behaviour which has put them and their livestock at risk. Issues include electric fences being turned off, farm gates left open or shut when there have been clear signs and signs removed that warn of ‘bull in field’.
The Leonard family have been tenant farmers in Netherstreet and Roundway Down, outside of Devizes, since the 1890s. The farm has seen many changes over the years and has specialised in dairy, poultry and now high-quality beef raised predominantly on grass and home-grown hay.
The herd of 77 Galloways is well-suited to the plan. It was introduced by Jeremy Leonard to participate in the Environmental Stewardship Scheme.
He said: “We work hard to raise high-quality beef cattle on the land we rent. There are many benefits of rotational grazing and we work closely with Black Sheep Countryside Management to ensure that we work within all of the Stewardship Scheme guidelines which aim to improve the health of the countryside.
"It is imperative that we stick to our grazing plan so that the sward is grazed down to the correct length before we move the cows to a new field, this not only promotes plant diversity but ensures the cattle have good grazing to move onto and we can keep the herd together so they can be looked after properly. We use electric fences as the Galloway coat is extremely thick, they are bred to withstand extreme cold, this means they can walk straight through barbed wire and so only electric fences will keep them and the public safe.”