Richmond Park has long been known for its herds of majestic deer.

But the regal creatures could soon be sharing the green space with some newcomers from across the border - in the form of a herd of Highland cows.

Royal Parks and Natural England are hoping to introduce small numbers of cattle across areas of Richmond Park as part of a plan to improve its biodiversity.

The proposal is part of a grass management plan which aims to improve the park’s acid grassland - grass growing on acidic soil - home to many protected plants, invertebrate and bird species, and wildflowers.

Simon Richards, manager of Richmond Park said: “The Royal Parks makes a huge contribution to the biodiversity of London and the nation.

“We have worked closely with Natural England and stakeholders to agree this plan, which will significantly enhance the condition of Richmond Park over time, benefitting both the wildlife that lives here and the millions who visit us each year.”

The cows will help conserve the park’s precious acid grassland and boost diversity thanks to their fondness for grass, unlike the park’s deer which eat woody vegetation.

By grazing on grass, the cattle will create patches of bare ground, which will allow wildflowers to flourish.

Docile breeds such as Highland cattle will be chosen to ensure park-users will be not be affected.

The proposal follows a successful grazing trial carried out near the park’s headquarters at Holly Lodge in 2008.

A consultation on the plan is already under way with interested parties and if agreed the cows will be out to graze by the autumn.

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