Wednesday, 30 July 2014

"Wildlife experts said…"

More bovine madness spotted by Julia M in the Evening Standard:

Cows are to be introduced to a London park - in order to save money on the cost of cutting the grass.

The herd of red poll cattle will be munching their way through foliage in Bedfords Park, Having, as part of a biodiversity programme.

Havering Council said the move will cut costs from paying park keepers to cut the grass and using expensive tractors, saving around £300,000.

It is one of the first councils in London to call in a team of ‘expert grazers’ to take over from traditional grass and hay cutting techniques, with similar schemes in Hornchurch Country Park and Rainham Marshes.

Wildlife experts said red poll cattle are known for having a gentle temperament and no horns, making them ideal for grazing in public spaces.

Cattle don't need horns to kill people, weight of numbers, head butting and kicking usually do the trick.


Ben Jamin' said...

Saving £300,000? Per year?

How many munching beasties are we talking about?

A human live, for insurance purposes, is valued at £5M.

So, as long as no one gets trampled to death in the next 18 years or so, we are quids in.

Dr Evil said...

Wouldn't sheep be better? They were used before the lawn mower was invented once the scything had finished..

Mark Wadsworth said...

BJ, my thought exactly. Even if it is "only" a few people being badly injured and airlifted to hospital, that is still a large figure which has to come off the saving.

And once word gets round, the amenity value of the park falls to zero (except for natters practising for Pamplona).

DrE, exactly. Plus their poo is far less offensive.

DBC Reed said...

Rabbits can produce a very clipped effect.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, yes, but they are very shy, so if people use the park you won't get much grass cutting, they'll just all run away.

Sheep are a) able to get used to human beings milling around and b) become 'hefted' to one location so will remain put.

Dog walkers might be a bit of a problem with sheep, actually but I'm sure we can accommodate that.

Kj said...

Hold on there, you have to look at the insurance costs on both alternatives. As it happens, there is a high risk of accidents with tractor operations. The difference being that tractors are not inherently evil ofcourse.

Monkey63 said...

Cows are usually ok - providing you don't have a dog with you, which, of course, nobody would in a Public Park right?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj, true.

M63, yes, most cow attacks happen to dog walkers.

DBC Reed said...

Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they chomp away most actively at dawn and dusk, so they would n't encounter all that many dog walkers, who take a turn about the park after breakfast or after lunch.It's surely better for dogs to chase rabbits that disappear down holes than worry sheep. Deer ,of course, are traditional parkland animals but the famous video of a dog running wild with park deer is disturbing. In this case a park warden should be empowered to shoot any errant dogs and, if the owners don't like it, them too.