30 Aberdeen Angus beef cattle are currently grazing on the top of Butser Hill. After such a wet year the growth has been excessive and their job is to reduce the bulk of the herbage otherwise the coarse grasses will dominate the sward to the detriment of more sensitive flora.

The South Downs as everyone knows are made of chalk and this gives a distinctive character to the vegetation. However the top of the hill has a clay cap giving slightly acidic conditions and this tends to favour the grasses. At this time of year there is little nutritional value to be had but the cattle will consume large quantities all the same.

They will soon be moving on before they start to lose condition. At 30 months old they will be sent to market and the end product will be organic free range beef. The hanging period will be at least 5 weeks to ensure that the meat will be deeply flavoured and tender.

Comparatively they will have had a happy life, spending the first 6 months with their natural mothers in a high health status closed herd where replacements are all home-bred. After weaning, as well as grazing on Butser they will have spent time on the salt marsh at Thorney Island and at the home farm in Rogate.

For more information about the range of products available from Rother Valley Organics, the Park’s farm business tenants, go to www.rothervalleyorganics.com

For those visitors walking dogs, the compartments where the cattle graze are clearly marked at every access point with A3 sized white signs. When walking in with the cattle or sheep all dogs must be kept on a lead.