Woolly lawnmowers recruited to revive ancient Pompeii vineyards

A flock of sheep is set to put Pompeii vineyards back on track for wine production

An UNCONVENTIONAL gardening strategy is set to be used to tackle overgrown vineyards near to Pompeii. Italian authorities have enlisted the help of a flock of sheep to tidy up the area near to the ruins of the ancient town.

150 sheep arrived in Pompeii on November 24, ready to get to tackle the issue of overgrown grass as part of an experiment to revive the ancient vineyards which were covered up for hundreds of years after the volcanic eruption in AD79. The pilot scheme will last nine months as park authorities look to attract tourism and investment beyond the ancient ruins.

Director of Pompeii Archaeological Park, Gabriel Zuchtriegal welcomed the new arrivals saying, “The sheep entered the fields with great enthusiasm and got to work straight away”. He added that the sheep are also an investment since they provide free lawnmowing and fertiliser. Maintenance bills are usually a drain on the park’s annual budget.

Using sheep instead of lawnmowers is becoming increasingly popular across the world as agriculturalists seek environmentally-friendly solutions and look to cut back on maintenance costs.