Cattle return to Roundshaw Downs
The world's most environmentally friendly lawn-moo-wers have returned to Roundshaw Downs.
Five Sussex cattle with their shaggy coats and horns have returned to the park for the second year in a row to keep the grass in check of the winter.
The herd spent last winter in Sutton and the scheme was such a success that Sutton Council has repeated it this year.
If the area was left untended weeds and hardy plants would overrun the downs and choke out the rare wild flowers that grow in the chalky ground.
But the cows keep the plants in check and their grazing is much better for the flora than mechanical mowing.
Councillor Jill Whitehead, chairwoman of Sutton Council's environment committee, said: "Sutton is very proud of its Green record and this is an innovative way of helping to preserve the borough’s rare chalk grasslands.
"High quality chalk grassland can support up to 50 different species of plants within one square metre and bringing in grazing cattle will help increase the amount of plants and animals that can live and flourish there.
"It also brings a little bit of the countryside into the city, and will give local children the chance to see animals right on their doorsteps."
Sussex cattle are one of the oldest breeds of cow and modern cattle are descended from them.
The cows moved into their new home on Thursday and members of the public have been asked to leave them alone for a few days to let them settle in.
An open day to let the cows meet their new neighbours is being arranged for the October half term.
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