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New conservation programme launched to help safeguard traditional grazing methods

News Date: 23.03.2010

New Forest to benefit from landmark conservation agreement
Natural England announces record-breaking £16 million conservation programme.
Rare species and habitats in the New Forest are to benefit from a landmark conservation agreement, launched today by Natural England. The new agreement will provide £16 million over the next 10 years and will help safeguard the traditional grazing methods that for centuries have shaped the New Forest’s unique wildlife.
Under the historic practice of commoning ponies and cattle have grazed freely over extensive areas of the forest, preserving the richness of its heathland and wood pasture habitats. The agreement will provide major funding for these grazing activities as well as supporting habitat restoration and the preservation of many archaeological features. As part of the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme it represents the largest agri-environment agreement by area in Europe.