Conservation grazing is carefully timed to protect the delicate habitats
Cattle raised in Durham will help to ensure the survival of the county's rare grassland habitats.
East Durham Grassland Beef is meat produced from cattle bred on Durham's Heritage Coast.
It is hoped that the cattle will help to conserve and expand the areas of natural grassland that make the area unique.
When they graze over the winter months the growth of the grasslands is increased.
East Durham Grassland Beef is a project run by the Durham Coastal Grazing Group, to help improve the future of Durham's Heritage Coast.
Experts say that conservation grazing is the best way to manage and conserve the grasslands and the wildlife they sustain. The grazing is timed to protect the habitat.
Up to 200 hectares of land between Hawthorn Dene and Blackhall and some places inland, could eventually be returned to original grassland through the project.
Native Highland Cattle and British Longhorns are used as they can graze during the winter months when the land needs to grow.
Jim Cokill, a director at Durham Wildlife Trust and a member of the Durham Coastal Grazing Group, said: "Historically farmers in County Durham have bred cows for beef which were so valued that the 'Durham Ox' became world famous.
Highland Cattle and British Longhorns have provided the special beef
"It was this livestock grazing, trampling and fertilization that helped create the very grasslands we are now trying to protect and expand.
"It's appropriate then that traditional cattle are once again playing a key role within this internationally significant coastal habitat."
'Part of heritage'
The first beef was produced from the Highland Cattle and British Longhorns who were raised at Quarrington Hill and White Lea Farm at Easington Colliery by farmers Ken Ibbotson and Ron Colledge.
Mr Colledge said: "They are part of our heritage and were on the land long before we were born. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than farming here with these animals.
"If we can use native breeds to help return this area to grasslands then so much the better.
"Obviously it will be better for wildlife and it will also become an even nicer environment for local people and visitors to enjoy."