21 NOVEMBER 2014NEWS RELEASE No: 16418
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The success of Forestry Commission Scotland’s conservation grazing project has had a welcome endorsement recently – when the sale of 24 first cross heifers brought in the top price of the day.
The 18-month old Whitebred Shorthorn X Highland bulling heifers from the Commission’s Cowal & Trossachs Forest District were sold at the Oban auction mart on Tuesday 21st October.
Robin Waddell, the Commission’s Agricultural Adviser, said:
“The conservation grazing project uses cattle to help the process of natural regeneration of native woodlands and having our own fold in such a challenging environment requires close attention to stockmanship and animal husbandry.
“We only have the capacity for so many animals so, as they breed, we have to sell off surplus stock. The fact that the demand for these beasts was high enough to fetch top price is a great endorsement of our efforts and our involvement in agricultural enterprise. It shows that we can produce quality, sought after heifers whilst also achieving our conservation grazing goals.”
The best 3 animals topped the ‘bulling heifer’ section of the sale - selling at £1100/head and a further 8 of them sold at £1000 each.
Stockman, Stewart Hendry, added;
“The Commission doesn’t accept any farming subsidies for its cattle grazing projects so the income generated from this sale of surplus stock from our well established Loch Katrine fold will help to cover the wider costs of the project. However, the return we get in terms of ecosystem services makes it more than worthwhile.
“It’s very rewarding to have our stockmanship skills recognised in this way – it shows that we’re committed to what we’re doing and that we can produce quality livestock in the difficult and extensive terrain around Loch Katrine.”
The Commission’s Lochaber based Highland cattle fold also gained respect in agricultural circles earlier in the year by winning a number of cups and red tickets on the agricultural show circuit.
Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2. For news, events and recreation information log on to
www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotlandnews
3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Officer, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590