Beware of grazing sheep

Published Friday, 30 October 2020

Sheep being unloaded from a cattle truck.

Dog walkers are asked to take note of signs and beware of sheep grazing in Bromley’s meadows following the sad news that a sheep died after being attacked by a dog.

About 30 sheep are set to graze in Bromley’s meadows around the borough to help manage sensitive grasslands. Dog walkers and other park users should be aware of signs and the importance of keeping dogs on leads in these areas as it is known that even the most well behaved of dogs can chase or attack sheep.

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment said “People need to pay close attention to the signs and keep their dogs under control at all times. Usually sheep are much more sensitive than machines and mowers which is one of the reasons we use them. Unfortunately, machinery often causes damage to small wildlife such as insects and small mammals and cut the grass and flowers to a uniform height. Sheep don’t do this and only tend to graze on the more tasty herbs while leaving grassland at various heights which benefits insects in particular, some of which need special conditions to survive.”

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, added “The council would prefer to maintain public access to these areas whilst maintaining them in an ecologically sensitive manner, but we can only continue to do so if we can be sure of the safety of the sheep and wildlife. Please help us by keeping your dog on a lead in these areas and passing on this request to other dog owners.”

The council’s parks contractor idverde are working closely with the Downlands Trust (formerly Downlands Countryside Management Partnership) and its partner organisation Downlands Partnership that specialises in grazing sheep, cattle, horses and goats. The sheep are on temporary loan from autumn until February which will improve the biodiversity value of sites across the borough.

Anyone wishing to find out more about Bromley’s parks and open spaces should visit www.bromley.gov.uk/parks

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk