An Iron Age fort being destroyed by vegetation is now protected by a herd of cows that are controlled by music.
The 2,500-year-old Little Doward Hill Fort has slowly been swallowed by various invasive species.
Experts have now introduced six Dexter cows to munch their way through it and prevent ecological damage.
The fort in the stunning Wye Valley near Whitchurch in Herefordshire, England was vital to ancient post-Roman English lords in their wars against the Anglo Saxons.
The Woodland Trust is running a scheme which involves training cows to stay within a “digital fence” using musical solar-powered collars.
It allows them to roam 82 hectares of woodland freely without fences.
Richard Brown, Woodland Trust site manager said: “Little Doward is a really ancient and special site with not only the fort which looks over the beautiful Wye Valley, but ancient woodland too.
“It is a bit of a battle to preserve the fort from vegetation and we have turned to grazing a small herd of fluffy and friendly Dexter cows who have been trained to associate musical beats with a virtual fence so now the eye sore and expense of building a fence is no longer needed.
“This is a win all around for the site. For nature and restoration the cows are ideal grazers across a wide range of species.
”They help spread seeds through their dung and gently move the soil around but without destruction.
“For the fort itself they are able to stop vegetation engulfing it and the virtual fencing technology, via an app, helps us to move the herd around, in effect moving the fence.
“The cows are very friendly too so if people do visit, don’t be scared – they may just want to come up to you and say hello!”
Little Doward Woods is ancient and important habitat that provides refuge for many plants and animals – some of which are only found in isolated pockets across the UK.
The site hosts numerous veteran oak and beech trees, plus rare and interesting wildlife such as the saproxylic beetles, and the the incredibly rare Cosnard’s net-winged beetle.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.