THE MALVERN Hills Trust has issued a plea for dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead as it is a crucial time for sheep grazing on hills and commons as many are pregnant with spring lambs.
The trust says, at this time, the sheep are more sensitive to disturbance and can abort their lambs if chased by a dog.
The organisation keeps dog walkers up-to-date with where sheep and cattle are each week on its Stockwatch page.
It details the best and safest places for them to exercise their pets.
Livestock within temporary electric-fenced compartments can be found in the following locations:
Northern Hills – There are cattle on End Hill moving to Sugarloaf Hill and sheep on east North Hill.
Central Hills – Cattle are currently on east Perseverance Hill and there are sheep off the hills.
Southern Hills – Sheep may be found freely grazing from British Camp to Gullet Quarry.
Old Hills – There are no longer cattle on the Old Hills.
Cattle and sheep can be found throughout Castlemorton and Hollybed Commons at this time.
The Hills and Commons are grazed by livestock all year round. This grazing helps protect the natural beauty, flora and fauna, and the wonderful views.
Grazing is undertaken through Malvern Hills Trust’s projects, where livestock are fenced within temporary compartment, and also by local people who hold commoners rights to graze their cattle and sheep.
Visitors to the Malvern Hills are welcome to explore the areas within the temporary grazing compartments, which can be accessed through pedestrian gates.
The trust added: “Please remember to keep your dog on a lead near livestock and under close control at all times as livestock may be found anywhere at any time.”