As every year, herds of sheep, goats, and cows graze grass in selected green areas in Prague.
According to City spokesman Vít Hofman, this year there are three herds of sheep and goats that graze Prague’s green areas.
Every year from spring to autumn, the animals feed in dozens of places, mainly in the Prokopské and Šárecké valleys, in the Troja basin, in the Radotín valley, but also and in gardens in Hrdlořezy or in Na Vidouli.
“Currently, there are three mixed flocks of sheep and goats in the nature reserve in Prokopské údolí, the natural monument Podbabské skály and in the natural monument Bohnické údolí,” added Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček.
One herd of 13 animals grazes the dry polder Čihadla from May to October and another grazes meadows in the areas of Milíčov, Šeberov, Lipence, and Obory Hvězda.
The municipality borrows animals from private farmers. “Grazing for the capital city is managed by private farmers, who also provide 24-hour surveillance of the herds and flocks. The shepherds also make sure that the sheep only graze on the lands that they are intended for. The annual cost of grazing of sheep and goats is approximately 950,000 crowns, and in the case of cattle it is about 450,000 crowns,” said Hofman.
The grazing of sheep and goats has primarily been taking place in specially protected areas in Prague since the year 2000, while cattle grazing began in 2012. It is provided and financed by the Environmental Protection Department of the Prague City Hall.
At the end of the season, the animals are returned back to farms. The changing grazing dates in each territory also ensures that the animals do not graze identical plant species every year.
In hard-to-reach areas, grazing is the only way to take care of sites. According to the municipality, this method of green maintenance creates suitable conditions for maintaining biodiversity.
By grazing the grass, the animals disrupt the turf, creating areas without vegetation, which contributes to species diversity.