Sheep to graze Hampsted Heath for first time in 60 years

Last updated at 07:04
Oxford -Down-sheep.British Wool Marketing Board
Oxford Down and Norfolk Horn sheep will graze on Hampstead Heath

From today, sheep will live on Hampstead Heath in London for the first time in 60 years.

A small flock of five animals will be released into the huge park in the north of the city.

Two types of sheep are part of the project - Norfolk Horn and Oxford Down.

While in the park, the sheep will nibble down the grass as a trial to see if this will work as an eco-friendly way of maintaining the park.

Looking after land through animal grazing like this is a tradition that dates back for centuries.

Sheep-grazing-on-the-heath.City of London Corporation
Sheep used to graze on Hampstead Heath before being taken to market in the City in central London

Fencing has been installed around the area to protect sheep.

The idea has come from the City of London Corporation, which has said: "Grazing is known to play a major role in boosting species-rich wildlife habitats."

If the one-week trial is a success, the corporation said that more sheep could be put into different areas of the park.

norfolk-horn-sheep.Rare Breed Survival Trust
If you go to visit Hampstead Heath, you can expect to see a Norfolk Horn sheep like this one!

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