The ten pigs, a mix of breeds that include Gloucester Old Spots, Large Black and Saddleback, will graze an area around the main viewpoint at the nature reserve near Ware. The pigs will act like mini-diggers, turning over the earth and scratching the ground to help keep the area clear of scrubby vegetation.
The pigs, which are on loan to the Trust from the Legacy Grazing Project, will graze the site for around a month to create an open habitat that will benefit wildfowl and waders. This is the first time we are using pigs for conservation grazing. Previously, we have used cattle, sheep and even water buffalo to graze its nature reserves.
Senior Reserve Officer Jenny Sherwen said “pigs are perfect for this site and they will do a fantastic job of turning the ground over and keeping it clear of scrub. Amwell is a fantastic site for waterfowl and we’re delighted to have the pigs as part of our team”.
The pigs are part of a large-scale habitat creation and restoration project, funded by the Environment Agency and Cadent Gas, which is currently taking place at Amwell Nature Reserve. As well as grazing, the project will also see re-profiling of the lake and better control of water levels to help keep Amwell and internationally important site for waterfowl.