The city of Paris has come up with an interesting — and pretty adorable — solution to keep its grass fields in tip top condition.
A group of four black sheep has been set free in a field near the capital’s municipal archives to graze to their hearts’ content.
The four natural lawnmowers are Quessant sheep, named for a small island west of Brittany. The sheep are known for their diminutive size (adult rams stand only 1.6 feet to the shoulder), which, the Paris city council told France3 Bretagne, allows for “easier handeling.”
The moutons tondeuses or lawnmower sheep, as they are known in Paris, are part of a pilot program organized by mayor Bertrand Delanoë that will last until October 2013, according to France3 Bretagne. If the program proves successful, sheep could be used to replace lawnmowers at Parisian landmarks like the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes.
The so-called “eco-grazing” program could also help to demonstrate that being environmentally conscious need not be an expensive undertaking. According to the Times, the sheep cost Paris the equivalent of $335. However, it is unclear whether this sum includes the security guard and the three-foot high electric fence employed to keep the sheep enclosed, or their room and board at the Paris Farm in between their 15-day stints at the archives.