Archive: Lydney cow tracks

Published 10 October 14

This page has been archived and no longer updated. more info

A network of cow tracks has been invaluable at Lydney Park, in Gloucestershire, where two OAD milking herds graze on land next to the River Severn.

“We have about 5km of cow tracks so far. It’s a combination of existing tracks, some of which we’ve upgraded, and some we’ve put in since our conversion to a grass-based system,” said Gavin Green, farms manager at Lydney Park, talking at a recent LIC open day.

“We are used to wet conditions, and were able to continue to graze even in the incredibly wet weather we had this spring. The cow tracks and plenty of entry and exit points were crucial to that.”

This season saw more tracks going in at Lydney. To make the tracks a plough is used to creates a camber, and stones, quarried from the estate, are placed on top. Stone dust is then laid and the track is rolled. The track is rolled several times at each stage, and the aim is to make all tracks six meters wide.

“Don’t make width a reason not to put in a cow track,” said Keith Davis, herds manager. “Yes, six metres is ideal, but we have pinch points at bridges and through gateways, and they don’t cause any problems. As long as cows are walked calmly down tracks, width shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

“It costs us about £7 or £8 per metre of cow track,” Keith continued. “But, if you’re buying in the stone, you’d probably need to add another £10 a metre to this.

“We’ve learnt not to make the camber too high. About 5% is ideal, any higher than that and you’ll lose the benefit of the track width as the cows will start to walk behind each other on the flatter part of the track.”

For more information about building and maintaining cow tracks, you can download the DairyCo booklet ‘Cow tracks’.