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Grazing Guilds, Denmark: Amager, Copenhagen

Part of the grazing guild

Part of the grazing guild

In the nature reserve “Amager” we have no less than 4 volunteer Guilds for grazing.  Three of them are with cows and one with sheep. We have got two new herds just this year. And it is the same message in the entire country that herds for grazing are booming in many nature areas. Grazing Guilds are volunteer citizens who keep their own cows on our meadows. The cows help to graze the meadows and stand for nature conservation out here, so waders are doing really well. At the same time members of grazing guilds get meat in their freezer, every year when the cows have been slaughtered. Typically, many families are member of grazing guilds because, parents want to give their children some good experiences in nature and at the same time tell them about where their food comes from.

How does it work? One grazing guild owns 14 cows. Each member of a grazing guild pays for and thereby owns one quarter cow. With 14 cows the grazing guild have about 56 members. The 56 members oversee the cattle. Every day, one member goes out and looks after the animals. They check their well-being, if they have water and make sure that the fences are in a good state. Each member checks all cows 3-5 times a year. In October / November all members meet up to round up the cows and send them to a slaughter. After they have been slaughtered, the butcher cuts the meat into quarters and every member receives ¼ cow with by mail. It provides food for a family for a long time. Good quality food and with a good story. For us in the Nature Agency is a win / win situation. We get grazed our land. At the same time there are a lot of volunteers who learn to handle animals. They get to learn to know the nature area very well. They understands why the meadow to be grazed in favor of wading birds.

And the stories of Kalvebod Common / Nature Park Amager are to be told during many good dinners throughout the year. One of our recent grazing guilds has just been in one of our local newspapers with this fine article: http://minby.dk/amagerbladet/fra-fodboldformand-til-cowboy/ And here are links to two of our grazing guilds Websites: www.kkgl.dk and www.sundbyko.dk

Med venlig hilsen Rune Kjærgaard Lange Skovløber og Naturvejleder Naturcenter Amager Dir tlf.: (+45) 72 54 31 74 Mobil: (+45) 23 73 02 22

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