Proposals for a decade-long plan to look after Cannock Chase’s natural habitats have been put forward after more than a year of discussion.
People, groups and organisations with an interest in Cannock Chase Country Park were asked for their views, before a working group developed the ideas for managing the land to prevent it becoming overgrown.
The proposals now include a mixture of methods including cutting and controlled burning of heather, the cutting and thinning of trees and scrub, and spraying bracken, as well as a small pilot scheme to return traditional low-level grazing in the south of the Chase.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for Cannock Chase, said:
We are guardians of the Chase and must manage it sustainably to preserve the very landscape that makes it so attractive and popular today.
These areas are designated at national and European level for their wildlife interest, as well as being fantastic areas for recreation, landscape and cultural heritage and if we are to conserve the area’s special features and keep the site accessible, it must be actively managed.”
Part of the submission to Natural England will incorporate environmentally-friendly methods, including a proposal to graze no more than six cattle in the Moors Gorse area in 2020.
Mark Winnington said:
The pilot scheme in a small area will allow us to introduce the idea carefully and let people see how grazing would work in practise alongside all the other ways of managing the landscape.”
Further information about the proposals can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/managingcannockchase including more information about the condition of the site and details of the Moors Gorse pilot.