Amazed at cow dung ‘outrage’

As a member of the farming community, I was amazed to see the above letter and headline: Footpaths covered in cow dung is an outrage (Express, September 19).

The writer of the letter, although apparently fond of Sussex, failed to recognise that grazing cattle play a vital role in countryside management.

Grazing maintains and enhances the landscape character and biodiversity of many special areas within the South Downs National Park, including Ditchling Common Country Park.

So it was no surprise to me to read the following notice from East Sussex County Council on its website for the Country Park:-

“Cattle have arrived at Ditchling Common Country Park. Grazing will be undertaken in partnership with Plumpton Agricultural College until September to improve the wildlife value of the site. Signs have been put up on site informing visitors and requesting dogs to be kept under close control in the areas when livestock are present.”

I can understand how a walker might find curious cattle a little intimidating and decide to avoid walking among them. But I find it absurd that the sight of a cow pat provoked outrage and a demand for the dung to be cleared up. There is no need – nature will take care of it and the soil will be all the better for a little fertiliser!

Ed Gribble

East Sussex NFU Chairman