Cows in the Yorkshire Dales are to be tracked by satellite to help conserve the National Park.

A herd of 50 Blue Grey and beef Shorthorns are being fitted with electronic collars in an effort to preserve the Dales’ rare plants and flowers.

The initiative forms part of The Limestone Country Project which was launched in 2002 with the aim of encouraging farmers to return to mixed livestock grazing using hardy, native cattle breeds.

Paul Evans, who manages Natural England’s Ingleborough National Nature Reserve, said:  “The collars will tell us where the cattle go and at what times of the day and the year.

“We can then analyse the vegetation and terrain in those areas – which will help us assess the cattle’s impact on the local ecology.

“We’re hoping to expand the project to other upland areas of the Yorkshire Dales to give hill farmers the information they need to manage those areas successfully in the future.”