Four sheep from Ouessent Island, off the coast of Brittany, were selected to take over a gardener’s job, and also for their small size—they stand barely over two-feet tall, and are considered hardy and too small to be eaten—which makes them easier to transport between sites.
Over the next six months, the grass-guzzling living ‘lawn-mowers’ need to keep a 2,000-square meter grass patch neatly trimmed, as a trial. And if the low-tech program (known as eco-grazing) is successful, sheep will be seen replacing mechanical lawnmowers throughout the French capital’s public spaces.
The black shaggy sheep are seen as an environmentally-friendly alternative, as they reduce cost, noise and air pollution, and the use of pesticides and fuel—and they help fertilize plants as well.
“Motorized lawn mowers make a lot of noise, and they also consume fossil fuels and sometimes electricity,” Fabienne Giboudeaux, Paris City Hall’s director of Green Spaces told BBC. “It’s not very rewarding work for gardeners, pushing these machines around. It’s tiring.”
When reached for comment on the local viability of such a project, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson simply said “Baaaaah.” (ok, not really)