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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Pompeii drafts in sheep to trim grass

Pompeii takes a green approach to site maintenance.

Pompeii has drafted in a flock of 150 sheep to trim the grass in green areas around the archaeological site in an experiment aimed at maintaining the Italian landmark in a sustainable way.

The sheep began their work in late November, in an unexcavated part of the Regio V area, as part of a wider agricultural initiative involving the revival of ancient vineyards.

The flock will be used to trim more inaccessible areas around the vast site, including olive groves, under the nine-month experiment.

Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the Pompeii archaeological park, hailed the green 'eco-pasture' method as both ecological and economical.

"There is no cost or pollution" - Zuchtriegel told La Repubblica newspaper - "Grass cut in an industrial way normally becomes waste to be disposed of. Sheep, on the other hand, ingest the grass they chew and recycle it by fertilising the lawn which, rich in organic matter and microorganisms, is the best insurance against flooding and drought".

"The greatest innovation is often a return to our roots and the most efficient technology is nature", Zuchtriegel added.

On Friday, Pompeii announced a new member of the grass-cutting team with the birth of a lamb.

In 2018 former Rome mayor Virginia Raggi was ridiculed after she called for similar green methods involving cows and sheep being deployed to keep the capital's overgrown grass in check.

Cover image: Gabriel Zuchtriegel. Photo Pompeii archaeological park - Silvia Vacca.

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Address Via Villa dei Misteri, 2, 80045 Pompei NA, Italy

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Pompeii drafts in sheep to trim grass

Via Villa dei Misteri, 2, 80045 Pompei NA, Italy

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