Sheep to graze in central London for new wildlife project

MIchael Howie

Rare breed sheep are grazing in the heart of London as part of a wildlife scheme to help a flower meadow and the insects that rely on it.

The sheep are part of a conservation trial taking place in The Green Park, next to Buckingham Palace, where they will spend the week grazing one of the park’s wildflower meadows.

It is hoped the trial will help maintain a variety of plant species and prevent coarse grasses taking over, encouraging a greater variety of pollinators and other insects that thrive in wildflower meadows and play an important role in food chains.

The scheme is part of The Royal Parks Mission: Invertebrate project which has received £600,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery to support the capital’s grassland creatures, and is teaming up the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Mudchute Farm for the trial.

Rare breeds of sheep grazing in the park include Oxford Downs, Whitefaced Woodlands, Southdown’s and Manx Loaghtan.