We’re certainly all used to the sight of sheep and cows grazing merrily away in the fields and pastures of the countryside… but it’s naturally a less common sight on our city streets, wouldn’t you agree?

Well, if you’re in London between now and August 27th you might come across a couple of woolly visitors in the wildflower meadows of The Green Park, part of an attempt to help the local invertebrate community of London really thrive.

Run by The Royal Parks Mission Invertebrate project, the campaign has teamed up with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Mudchute Farm to bring livestock grazing to the capital. This has always played an important role in wildlife conservation – and if left un-grazed, the majority of grasslands here in the UK would become dense scrub and woodland instead.

Oxford Downs, Whitefaced Woodlands, Southdown’s and Manx Loaghtan sheep will all be taking part in this new project to help parklands thrive and protect our invertebrate wildlife.

Leader of the project Dr Alice Laughton said: “We are very excited to be carrying out the first sheep grazing trial in The Royal Parks. By increasing the biodiversity of the park grasslands, we hope to encourage the invertebrates that inhabit meadow grasslands to flourish, and it will help plan how we manage the parks in the future.”

Livestock can help boost vegetation communities as well by removing biomass, which makes it possible for weaker species to become more established as more dominant species are reduced. Trampling can also create bare ground, which can aid plant regeneration via seedbanks… which will ultimately help invertebrates in the long run.

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