Many of us will be familiar with the statistics about cows and climate, identifying livestock farming as a significant contributor to climate change owing to livestock methane emissions (e.g. see Livestock's Long Shadow by the FAO). However, livestock farming is at many intensities and scales, and extensive livestock grazing of semi-natural habitats is a pole apart from intensive dairying where cows are fed on imported concentrates and heavily fertilised rye grass pastures. One problem has been that research has failed to look at the issue holistically, especially into the relationship between grazing, vegetation and soil. Recent research however is beginning to unfold the story of grazing, grasslands and carbon, showing that extensive pastoralism and its associated habitats are good not only for biodiversity but also sequester carbon. Access the links below for further details (please let us know of any new ones).
What's your beef? National Trust research report (2012)
Climate change the answer is bullocks! (Video made by environmental manager and farmer Dave Stanley, yours to view for the price of a couple of pints of beer)