Baa-baa, crunch, crunch eco-lawnmowers
ONE of the country's rarest breeds of sheep has been shipped into Suffolk - as eco-friendly lawnmowers!Nine rare Welsh sheep have taken up residence on a Suffolk farm with the aim of munching their way through acres of lush grass at Station Field, Needham Lake.
By Nick Richards
ONE of the country's rarest breeds of sheep has been shipped in to Suffolk – as eco-friendly lawnmowers!
Nine rare Welsh sheep have taken up residence on a Suffolk farm with the aim of munching their way through acres of lush grass at Station Field, Needham Lake.
The nearby Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm struck a deal to use the Balwen breed in a ten-year agreement with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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They will not only provide an excellent attraction for children, but also increase the botanical diversity of the site by controlling the growth of rank grasses allowing finer grasses and wild flowers to colonise.
In 1947, just one ram of the breed, which is only found in the Welsh mountains, survived a heavy winter. Numbers have been boosted since – and now the breed comes to Suffolk for the first time.
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Richard Storer of Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm said: "It's a combined exercise – they need somewhere to graze their sheep and it fitted in with us as it will be a great benefit. It will certainly be an educational opportunity for local people."
Will Akast, countryside ranger, added: "The sheep have been on the farm for one week and they seem to love it.
"The area of grass had been mowed on an annual basis so this is ideal as it will allow for better stock grazing. We aim to increase the number of sheep here – it will save money on petrol and will prove far more environmentally friendly."
The nine sheep currently occupy an area measuring a couple of acres but there are plans to bring in more rare breeds.
"We currently have one fenced area with all the sheep in and will introduce more areas gradually.
"By 2004 we should have three separate fenced areas."
Although there will be no public access to the fenced compartments during the April-October grazing season, access will be allowed during the winter months.