When you think of a marsh, what comes to mind?
Probably not an area of outstanding beauty. But, as the flat planes of West Sussex sweep into the sea, saltmarshes form a beautiful – and vital part of the Southern coastline.
The saltmarshes of West Sussex, surrounding Chichester, Pagham and Langstone, are bursting with biodiversity. A delicate ecosystem home to a myriad of rare creatures, flora and fauna, over farming, invasion of foreign species and urban pollution (to name a few) are a threat to the delicate balance, and the land is in need of protection.
Fortunately, Three Harbours Beef, a co-operative of small farmers, ethically and traditionally rearing livestock for market, are using traditional land conservation techniques to preserve and maintain this important land. You can enjoy delicious, ethical beef and help to support the future of the Sussex saltmarshes.
Why are saltmarshes so important?
More than just an area of natural beauty; saltmarshes are an important transition between land and sea, providing a bounty of biodiversity. One of the richest natural habitats in Sussex, saltmarshes offer an essential feeding ground for wading birds and wildfowl, sheltered nursery for sites for fish and a wealth of plant biodiversity for invertebrate (you can find a number of rare plants, such as Sea Barley).
Some of the species that you might expect to find in Sussex saltmarsh include:
Redshank (Tringa totanus),
Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax),
Shore crab (Carcinus maenas),
Starwort moth (Cucullia asteris),
Sea aster (Aster tripolium),
Glasswort / marsh samphire (Salicornia).
And this is just to name a few! If you’re familiar with this area, let us know in the comments what you’ve seen.
So, how do cows contribute to land conservation?
These swathes of land provide coastal grazing marsh where responsible, selective livestock grazing is incredibly beneficial for the natural habit. Lowlands, wetlands and heathlands were once traditionally grazed at low intensities and without this grazing (from the loss of traditional farming methods), scrub and invasive plants take over and the delicate ecosystem is dismantled. More-so, neglected land encourages abuse such as industrial, agricultural and urban dumping – a poor fate for the Sussex coastline.
Three Harbour Beef is helping to manage and preserve the biodiversity of this area of natural beauty through this exact method of low intensity livestock grazing, on a small-scale using locally bred cows. Cattle are particularly beneficial as they don’t graze too low down, and aren’t selective about what they eat, helping to preserve the botanical diversity while maintaining the area.
Traditional land conservation provides local, flavoursome beef and secures the future of these stunning Sussex grasslands – perfect!
How is the beef from this land different?
The flower and herbal rich, salt-tinted grass imbues the meat with a unique flavour and outstanding quality. But, most important, ethically and environmentally friendly, Three Harbour Beef offers happy cows, low food miles, and helps to protect and support wildlife on the marshes.
Sussex is truly leading the way for ethical food production…
Care about preserving the stunning local natural environment, and want delicious, uniquely flavoured and ethical local beef?
Get in contact with Muir or Nick today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07966972530.