WILDFLOWERS and insect life could thrive on a Petersfield beauty spot if councillors agree to some bovine intervention.

That’s the belief of a town council officer as a working party has tentatively backed the principle of conservation grazing on Petersfield Heath.

Potential graziers will now be contacted with Belted Galloways being suggested as an ideal breed to graze the area.

The proposal to contact graziers was approved by Petersfield Town Council last Thursday in response to a report by the Conservation Grazing Working Party.

Seven sites ranging from 1.11 to 3.85 acres in size have been deemed suitable for grazing, with most concentrated in the southern half of the site.

They have recommended that fencing is improved, especially along Heath Road East, and that warning signs are installed.

They have also suggested creating a volunteer “cattle watcher” group to report any problems or observations to graziers or the town council, which oversees the Petersfield Heath area.

Their report to the grounds committee shows the practice is beneficial to wildlife as grazing animals “eat selectively” and choose more dominant plant species, allowing less competitive species to thrive.

Town Clerk Neil Hitch added: “Grazing should also allow previously dormant wildlife and plant species to come back.”

The group does have reservations over whether the ‘small scale’ scheme would be viable for graziers, however.

Working party member and town councillor, John Lees, claimed land on Sussex Meadows could be used as a cattle holding area to make the site more attractive to potential graziers.

The claim surprised Councillor Lesley Farrow as she believes The National Trust would be prepared to supply the cattle and maintain any surrounding fencing.

Councillors also feel the Belted Galloway breed would be the “ideal cattle” for the Heath as they’re used to people and dogs.

“Dogs and escaped cows are the main concern but from what I understand from the National Trust they’ve got grazing down to a fairly precise science,” said Councillor James Deane.