Sheriff of Oxford’s traditional round-up of cattle on Port Meadow

Published: Friday, 7th September 2018

The Sheriff of Oxford’s traditional round-up of cattle on Port Meadow will take place at 6.30am on Monday 10 September 2018.

As dawn rises against the back drop of the dreaming spires, The Sheriff of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons, leads a party of park rangers from Oxford Direct Services, the Freeman of the City of Oxford, Wolvercote Commoners and volunteers for the traditional cattle round-up on Port Meadow.

The date of the round-up is traditionally kept top secret, so that owners without grazing rights cannot remove their animals at the last minute and escape a fine.

The medieval custom kicks off at 6.30am, as The Sheriff of Oxford walks across the plain from Walton Well Road for inspection by rounding up the livestock to a pound at the northern end of the meadow to check no-one is illegally grazing livestock. The round-up also plays a vital role in checking on the welfare of the cattle on the meadow.

The Sheriff of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons said: "This is a longstanding tradition that still plays an important role in the life of the City. It helps ensure continuing high levels of animal welfare and the proper maintenance of the important natural asset that is Port Meadow. As both a Freeman and Sheriff, I am excited to be involved."

The meadow, which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, is owned by the City Council and only Freeman of the City of Oxford and Wolvercote Commoners have the right to graze livestock on it.