Sheep Become Eco-Friendly Parisian Lawn Mowers

Using lawn mowers to keep landscaping trim in northeastern Paris is so yesterday! Lawn mowers and chemical fertilizers have been replaced by four grass-munching black sheep who will be kept busy now through October grazing on green areas in an experiment that focuses on using more eco-friendly ways to keep grounds around the capital buildings neat and trim.

There is even a company by the name of Eco Terra supplying the sheep grounds workers, bringing them into town daily for their grazing assignments, then returning them each evening to sleep back at their farm.

A spokesman for the company says that the decision of Parisian officials to replace lawn mowers with sheep is a first for the historic city, although the practice of doing it is at least a decade old elsewhere in the country.

“For a lawn mowed 24 times a year, there is no biodiversity. When you use animals, the droppings attract insects and the insects bring birds,” said Eco Terra president Alain Divo whose company plans and organises eco-pasture projects in French urban areas.

The sheep have adapted quickly to their new regimen since grazing is a natural instinct and they don’t have to be taught how to mow down the vegetation. There is also an added bonus to using sheep as grounds workers since their droppings attract insects and the gathering insects also attract birds to the newly manicured lawns, providing a biodiversity that is also safe and chemical-free.

Chicago airport pushes back goat herder application deadline

Last year officials at O’Hare International Airport published a different sort of want ad – . They needed a goat herder.

The airport’s top officials were looking to buy a herd of around 30 goats to help keep grass on and in between runways down in a unique, environmentally friendly way, but needed an individual to help keep those animals in check. The bidding deadline for the position has been extended, and the person chosen will have quite a job on his or her hands.

Source:

Munching sheep replace lawn mowers in Paris
http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/2013/04/04/munching-sheep-replace-lawn-mowers-in-paris

Paris Employs a Few Black Sheep to Tend, and Eat, a City Field
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/world/europe/sheep-tend-lawn-outside-city-archives-in-paris.html?_r=0