Hundreds join campaign against return of cows grazing on Cannock Chase
More than 1,000 people have joined a campaign against plans to fence off parts of Cannock Chase and bring back grazing livestock.
A 10-year plan has been drawn up to protect the natural habitats of Cannock Chase, which involves cutting back trees and burning heather.
Experts want to ensure the natural habitats of the beauty spot are preserved for decades to come.
In an attempt to stop the land from becoming overgrown, they want to cut back trees, carry out controlled burning of heather and spray out-of-control bracken.
A pilot scheme could also be put in place to bring back low-level grazing in the south of the Chase.
But a Facebook page has been launched with more than 1,100 members called ‘Save Cannock Chase – AONB. Say NO to fencing and restrictions to access’.
The owner of Cannock Trace Trekking Centre, Lisa Gregory, said: “I went to a public meeting where they said they were going to be fencing off parts of the Chase and putting in gates which aren’t horse friendly.
"There are lots of groups that all use it. I’m scared the cows will scare the horses.
"My horses are trained but children ride them. I’ve been in touch with the MP about this, the biggest concern is safety.
“Potentially it could close me down and my 12 staff could lose their jobs. It’s going to ruin what is a really wonderful, unique space.”
Resident David Tucker commented: “If you take a look at the map of the proposed route and the proposed route under discussion, the red line cuts Cannock Chase in two.”
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for Cannock Chase, said: “The pilot grazing scheme in a small area will enable us to introduce the idea carefully.
"We have a duty to conserve the area’s special features and keep the site accessible.”