New 'park workers' get paid in grass

2013-04-04 11:14

Sheep. (Frank Perry, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris – Four little black sheep on Wednesday left the countryside and began their new careers in the city working as eco-friendly lawn mowers in a largely working-class district in northeast Paris.

Between April and October, the new “park workers” will graze grounds the size of eight tennis-courts in three two-week-long sweeps in a move to promote biodiversity and make the grooming of the capital's green areas more sustainable – replacing both chemicals and lawn mowers.

Out of work, they will be resting back at a farm on the outskirts of Paris, the Ferme de Paris.

“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.

Grazing next to a ring road and by the foot of a giant grey building housing the capital's archive centre in the 19th arrondissement, the sheep seem to have adjusted to their new environment quickly.

“The fact that they graze right away means that they're going to get used to this very quickly,” Ferme de Paris sheep-keeper Marcel Collet said, noting the project that was ordered by local authorities is a “first” for the city.

Collet said eco-pasture has existed in France for about 10 years, but “really began to develop in the past three years”.

He said most of the animals used in the projects are local breeds that have been made redundant due to a more intense and competitive farming culture, where they have been replaced by more productive animals.

“Breeds that were a bit local, a little less productive... were set aside,” Collet said.
Read more on:    animals  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.