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Grazing animals on the commons

The commoners’ grazing animals are essential to maintaining the value of commons for wildlife, landscape, cultural traditions, recreation and agriculture. All of the grazing animals on the common are owned by individual commoners who have grazing rights for specific commons.

Grazing animals such as sheep, cattle and ponies, keep the land cropped and help to keep the common open by nibbling off encroaching tree seedlings, brambles and tough grasses. The number of animals grazing the commons is critical – too many will damage the common and too few will allow them to become overgrown with scrub and trees. The result would be:

  • Deterioration of the open landscape of commons that characterise Gower and attract local people and visitors alike.
  • Reduction in use of the commons for recreation and enjoyment as the commons become overgrown and inaccessible.
  • Loss of internationally rare and important wildlife habitats.
  • Inaccessible historical features and landmarks which would become obscured by vegetation.
  • Negative impact on the local economy through loss of agriculture and tourism.
  • Loss of cultural traditions which make Gower distinct.

The biggest threat to the future of common land as we know it is the loss of grazing due to death or serious injury of commoner’s animals through traffic collisions. Several measures to reduce traffic accidents with animals have been introduced.





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