A scheme which saw hardy cattle replace sheep on the Pennine uplands has won an award, for the second year running.
Cows in the project were monitored with GPS devices
The Limestone Country Project was judged top environmental project in the Yorkshire Rural Awards. The scheme ended this year, but was responsible for the reintroduction of cattle to fragile limestone upland in the areas around Ingleborough, Malham and Wharfedale, resulting in less damage to plantlife by flocks of sheep.
Farmers were encouraged to return to mixed grazing during the project, which was the brainchild of Tim Thom, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s senior wildlife conservation officer, and Paul Evans, senior reserves manager with Natural England.
Mr Thom said: “This is a fantastic achievement that we are all proud of. The award is recognition of the partnership with the farmers in the limestone areas of the Dales – it’s as much for them as it is for us.
“The project is over now but it has laid the foundations for farmers to work once again with traditional breeds of cattle in the uplands for many years to come.”
Mr Evans said: “This is fantastic recognition for a project that has required close collaboration from a range of partners over the past five years. The Limestone Country Project has shown how special landscapes like the Yorkshire Dales can be successfully managed for their wildlife, whilst also realising additional long term environmental and economic benefits.”
Louise Williams, the former Limestone Country project officer, received the award with Mr Thom at a dinner in Harrogate.
The project also involved the National Trust and the EU LIFE-nature fund. The awards were sponsored by the Dalesman magazine.