Brockham Limeworks nature reserve has some new residents! Three Beulah Speckled Face sheep from the Downlands Partnership's flock have been introduced to the site to help with conservation grazing. The steep terrain of the site make the hardy sheep the best animals for the job. Each of them has been fitted with a GPS collar which tracks their movements, contain them to certain areas and allow the stock checking team to quickly and easily locate them. The recently installed rainwater harvester which was funded through the Surrey Hills National Landscape's Farming in Protected Landscapes scheme (FIPL) will provide a regular water supply for the flock.
Brockham Limeworks is a 45-hectare (110-acre) former chalk quarry north of the village of Brockham. Owned and managed by us, Surrey County Council, it now forms part of Surrey's wider Countryside Estate which stretches to over 10,000 acres and is available for the public to explore and enjoy. The site is home to rare chalk grassland habitat, which is rich in plants and insects with up to fifty different types of plants and wildflowers often found in one square metre. Grazing livestock are great at helping to restore this rare habitat by reducing areas of scrub and maintaining the grassland.
The Downlands Partnership is one of our three Surrey Countryside Partnerships. The Lower Mole Partnership and their dedicated team of volunteers carry out a range of seasonal practical conservation tasks throughout the year at this site to further increase the biodiversity of the rare habitat, working in close partnership with Brockham Parish Council's Environment Working Group.
The sheep will be regularly monitored by a team of local stock checkers that have been trained by the Downland Partnership and the rota is being organised in partnership with the parish council. The flock is due to be boosted in January when an additional 7 sheep will arrive to continue the great grazing work.
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