10 Apr 2008

Last Thursday in Turin, Italy, the local police closed roads as 700 sheep were escorted from local fields to the outskirts of the city by Federico Tombolato, a shepherd from Chieri.

As part of an innovative new project to cut the cost of keeping lawns neat and tidy, the sheep will be left to graze in the city parks of Meisino and Sangone. The city of Turin spends an estimated 30,000 euros annually on park maintenance.

In addition, the initiative will bring younger members of the community into contact with animals and nature. For his part, Signor Tombolato will save money on land rental.

‘I came here last year and it worked out really well,’ said Tombolato at the Meisano park. ‘The city saved money and kept the park clean, while I saved money by not having to rent fields to graze my sheep.’

The project is an extension of a similar scheme launched last year in Turin’s Colonnetti and Piemonte parks. In the Rimembranza park, on the other hand, cows were tested for their grass-trimming abilities. Unfortunately, they failed because they left too much ‘mess’ behind.

The new lawn mower-replacement venture will last two months, after which the sheep will move onto greener pastures, high up in the Val Varaita, where they will remain until October.

La Stampa

Victoria Blackshaw

[email protected]

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