Consultation on how best to look after Cannock Chase’s natural habitats is to be extended.
The initial six-week consultation will be lengthened by a further three weeks to accommodate public interest and now close on August 14th.
People, groups and organisations with an interest in Cannock Chase Country Park, Bevin’s Birches and the adjoining land are being asked their views on the best ways of managing the land to prevent it becoming overgrown.
A previous round of engagement with users last year supported current methods, including cutting heather and thinning trees, spraying and using controlled burning, but also suggested cattle grazing as an option.
Now habitat experts have drawn up proposals explaining how grazing up to 60 cattle could work and the benefits it would bring.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for the consultation, said:
Having contacted scores of people and organisations directly about this, as well as publicising it via the mainstream media and social media, there has been a lot of interest, which is exactly what we want for a consultation.
People have been asking for more information about the process, which we’ve been responding to and we’ve decided to extend the deadline so everyone who’s interested has time to digest the ideas and register their opinions.”
Around 100 people attended a recent drop-in session at Chasewater and already there have been scores of responses online through the survey at www.managingcannockchase.co.uk .
Staffordshire County Council, RSPB and Natural England are working together to explore the future management of open habitats on Cannock Chase. These areas are designated at national and European level for their nature conservation interest, as well as being fantastic areas for recreation, landscape and cultural heritage.
Mark Winnington added:
We are guardians of the Chase and surrounding area and must manage it sustainably to preserve the very landscape that makes it so attractive today.
People still have time to find out about the suggestions via the website and to have their say and I would urge them to do so if they’re interested.”