A group of 50 cattle and 15 Exmoor ponies will be on the heath for the summer months, as part of a grazing scheme to improve the heath.
The cattle – a mixture of light and dark colour North Devon & British White – will all be wearing reflective collars but drivers have been warned to take care on the road and to observe speed limits.
Holt Heath is a rare surviving area of lowland heath and home to many rare species of plant and animals. The National Trust is working with Natural England on grazing the heath – a centuries-old tradition that has maintained it as an important wildlife reserve.
The mixed herd of cattle and ponies is recognised as the only sustainable way of maintaining the unique patchwork of different habitats which provides a home to a wealth of wildlife including insects, reptiles and rare birds such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark as well as merlin and hen harrier.
Signs on the heath advise anybody with concerns about the animal’s health to contact the grazier on 07810328157, 07760257393 & 01202 874783.