Countryfile tweet on impact of sheep grazing in Lake District sparks fierce backlash

Centuries of overgrazing have left landscapes bereft of trees and lacking biodiversity, writes Harry Cockburn

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 13 January 2021 09:31
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The bare slopes of peaks Kirk Fell (left) and Great Gable, from Wasdale Head, the same area the Countryfile photo was taken
The bare slopes of peaks Kirk Fell (left) and Great Gable, from Wasdale Head, the same area the Countryfile photo was taken

A tweet from the BBC’s Countryfile Twitter account has sparked a furious backlash after it described sheep as the “guardians of the Lake District”, despite the well-documented negative impact sheep can have on landscapes.

On Monday, the account posted a photograph of a Herdwick sheep, a robust breed which can survive solely on foraging in the fells.

“Herdwick sheep are said to be guardians of the Lake District,” the tweet read.

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