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Grazing sheep to replace lawnmowers in Ixelles cemetery

15:29 02/09/2023

Ixelles is making progress with its project to use sheep rather than lawnmowers to keep lawns tidy.

From next week, the new home for five retired ewes, that no longer produce milk, from La Ferme du Chant des Cailles in Watermael-Boitsfort will be one of Ixelles' most iconic landmarks – the cemetery.

“The animals will be kept separately in a fenced green space of 2,100m²,” said Ixelles’ municipal councillor for environment and green spaces Audrey Lhoest (Ecolo).

She explained that the sheep – Maroussia, Trottinette, Cacahuète, Erlaine and Jeannette – would not just be wandering around the tombstones and graves, but “they will replace noisy lawnmowers and make it more enjoyable for cemetery visitors”.

Until their move to the cemetery, the eco-grazing sheep are living in the Plaine aux Corneilles in the Boondael area, near the Cité Akarova.

During this time, there will be activities including woollen workshops, games and tastings of dairy products.

“City children have very little contact with animals,” Lhoest said, noting the fun and educational aspects of this new approach to grazing, which has now been working well in the commune for three years.

The sheep are due to graze in Ixelles cemetery from 10 September until the end of October.

Written by Liz Newmark