The Leazes cows: All your questions answered
Why are they there tho?
We’ve all had our questions about the cows that graze on Leazes Park and Town Moor, they are somewhat of a local staple, a point of conversation for those who encounter them.
Being in Park View or Castle Leazes gives freshers and their flatmates plenty of time to gaze out of their windows and ponder over the cows. So who owns them? What happens to them when they leave? Why are they there at all? Well, we have endeavoured to answer these questions and more.
Why are they there?
There is a historical precedence of cows grazing on open land in and around Newcastle, dating all the way back to the 13th century.
Nowadays, farmers and freeman can sub-let the rights to graze their cattle on the Leazes field. Having cheaper letting rates than average farmland allows the council to maintain the tradition of communal grazing and as well as protect the moor and park.
Who do they belong to?
The cows belong to multiple farmers from around the area. With letting rates being lower than average, it is a highly competitive space for those needing to graze their cattle.
How long are they there for?
They are generally allowed to stay from Spring to Autumn, around late-March to mid-October. This is because once winter comes, the grass has basically been obliterated by the cows and requires the winter to renew itself.
As well as this, it’s way too cold for the cows to stay outside and so they are taken inside by their farmers, where they are given feed rather than fresh grass until the spring, when they come back to the parks, to be admired by us.
What happens to the cows?
We know this is going to be hard to hear but most of the cows that are seen on both Leazes Park and Town Moor are being reared for their beef. Really sad news for everyone who has bonded with the cows over the years.
Some are reared for breeding, though calving on these spaces is illegal due to the increased danger to the public should there be calves being protected by their mothers.
Will the love for these cows ever end?
Who knows why we all love the cows so much. They don't really do all that much to warrant love, but maybe that's the point. The gentle giants have a life that we can only dream of, wandering around a field all day, no thoughts of 9am's or work to do.
Freshers will continue to get immeasurable joy as they look out of their window and see the cows on Leazes Park wandering around after each other throughout the day, laying down, not because rain is coming but because they feel like it.