Seven Dexter cattle have today (Monday, September 20) arrived to their new temporary home – Áras an Uachtaráin, no less.
Delivered by Peter Bryans of Donabate Dexter Farm, the animals will stay in the grounds for three months, where they will graze as part of a programme of work to enhance the biodiversity of the 130ac site.
The arrangement arises from the recommendations in a recent biodiversity audit, commissioned for President Michael D. Higgins by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and undertaken by researchers from Trinity College Dublin.
The audit recommended a sustainable growing regime for the Áras grounds, combining appropriate mowing to reduce the nutrient load in the soil, the introduction of grass-suppressing yellow rattle, and the presence of cattle to promote an improvement in the biodiversity of the meadows.
These measures are aimed at allowing for the establishment of indigenous wildflowers, with corresponding increases in fauna dependent on such a diversity of flora.
The cattle are normally based in north Co. Dublin, and are part of a sustainable grazing programme in Fingal County Council’s protected coastal lands.
It is envisaged that they will be at the Áras for a few months each year. Not having them present in late spring and summer allows the native flowers an opportunity to flourish and produce seeds.