Barcelona's huge Collserola National Park is now using sheep and goats to clear away undergrowth and help prevent fires. The herd of 290 has been on the job since April in a pilot project.
The all-they-can-eat bonanza was started as an environmentally-friendly way to keep down undergrowth, but one of the shepherds living in the park with the sheep and goats sees another side to it, telling local news that “The biggest challenge is re-educating people about rural life.”
The 20,262-acre park is at the edge of the city and provides spectacular views. It's popular with joggers and cyclists as well as hikers, but has had frequent fires. The experiment will run through June, and may be repeated or extended to other areas if successful.
Natural grazing isn't exactly a new idea in parks; many years ago sheep mowed the White House lawn in Washington, and in New York there were flocks of sheep in both Central and Prospect Parks. In recent year, Prospect Park has hosted herds of goats to clear brush.