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Sutton Park NNR

Location:Birmingham

Habitats:Woodland, Wetland, Heathland, Grassland

Livestock:Various breeds and types of livestock, Exmoor Ponies

In brief:A mosaic of open heathland, woodland, wetland on the north edge of Birmingham, ring-fenced and grazed by local graziers. The site is managed by Birmingham City Council.

Contact:John Porter

Tel:0121 355 6370

Email:john_porter@birmingham.gov.uk

Weblink:www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=3039&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=0&MENU_ID=1754


2,400 acres of lowland heath, acid and neutral grassland, wood pasture, wet and secondary woodland on the northern edge of Birmingham and managed by Birmingham City Council. This NNR is ring fenced and grazed by a mixed continental and cross bred suckler herd, owned by two graziers on an annual Farm Business Tenancy, with graziers £10 / head for the grazing. Animals are on site from April to October ish. The Council also owns and manages 20 Exmoor ponies and are looking at a goat herding scheme with the local Somali community. The graziers are also investigating marketing ‘Sutton Park Beef’, especially as the Council have retail outlets in the park (cafes, a pub, restaurants etc), and there are more than 2 million visitors annually!

The site is an SSSI, NNR, a SAM and registered Historic Park (a deer park given to local people by Henry 8th in 1500s). There is a Riding for the Disabled establishment and two golf courses (one grazed!).

The park is well managed, with Council staff open to new ideas and working well with a range of people and organisations. There are lots of public events, some involving the grazing, e.g. meet the farmer, land rover safaris, work with disadvantaged and ethnic minorities etc.