New arrival at country park

New Calf SUS-160125-113037001
New Calf SUS-160125-113037001

The small herd of British White cattle at Hastings Country park have an addition in the form of a newly arrived calf.

The discovery was made by Guestling man Tony Welwig, while out walking his dog Rocky on Saturday.

He explained: “. As I made my way down a slippery muddy footpath with Rocky, I reached the gate that led into Warren Glen.

“Rocky halted and pulled right on his lead towards an entanglement of brambles and dead bracken some ten feet away.

“I stood on tiptoes and just made out a mass of black and white fur. I took one step into the bracken and saw that it was a calf lying flat and motionless trying to conceal itself from scrutiny. I immediately came to the conclusion it was a newly born from one of the British White cows. I backed off and looked around. Still I could not see the mother or any of the small herd.

“I reported the find at the Visitor Centre as I was concerned that quite possibly the mother had for some reason deserted the newly born calf .

“I was informed that nobody concerned with Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve knew of a pregnant cow in the herd let alone the birth of a youngster.

“Also, Sussex Wildlife Trust, who own the cattle, were equally unaware of any pregnancy or birth.

“Someone was then sent down to ascertain the situation and I was told later that the mother cow had returned and the youngster was suckling. I was happy and relieved.

The next day I went to try and see the calf and mother I arrived as several helpers were attempting to move the mother and calf to a safer place in a grassy field.

“I must admit that without Rocky’s superb sense of smell, the presence of this new arrival may have gone unnoticed for a little longer. Whatever, it was indeed a great surprise.”

The small herd of hardy British White cattle arrived in Hastings Country Park in June 2015. They belong to Sussex Wildlife Trust and graze the rough pastureland and scrub of the coastal area of Warren Glen in a partnership management programme with Hastings Borough Council.

The cattle share this area of the country park with Exmoor ponies that were introduced for a second time in August 2014. Both cattle and ponies are valuable in helping maintain the natural habitat by what is termed conservation grazing.

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