In this first phase, 30 sheep of Galician Mirandesa breeds, are being used to clean vegetation, on a slope with olive trees covering an area of about one hectare, located next to the main avenue.
“We have green spaces that need to be cleaned of vegetation, as is the case of this hillside at the entrance to the city, and we are faced every day with a lack of manpower to do this work. This idea of allying the indigenous breeds, in this case sheep, arose immediately and these animals began today to do their job as land clearers”, explained the mayor of Miranda do Douro, Helena Barril.
According to the mayor, other species, such as the Mirandese donkey or goats, could be part of this initiative, which the municipality of Miranda do Douro considers as a “pioneering”.
In this first space of about one hectare, which is fenced so that the animals do not go out onto the public road, water and other fodder suitable for the feeding of these small ruminants have been placed.
“On these slopes we are using sheep because there are olive trees here and goats are not suitable for this function, because they are animals that eat practically all types of vegetation”, said Helena Barril.
Other spaces, such as the Fresno River Urban Park, which covers an area of about six hectares, a prime area of the Trás-os-Montes city, could also be the target of this experiment and in this space the Mirandese donkey will be used, given the characteristics of the area to be cleaned.
Cleaning and fertilising
The mayor of Miranda do Douro also said that this initiative has a double function: cleaning and fertilising the green areas that surround Miranda do Douro and at the same time showing those who visit the city, its indigenous breeds, such as the sheep or the Mirandese donkey.
Andrea Cortinhas, technical secretary of the Churra Galega Mirandesa Sheep Breeders Association, is of the opinion that the use of these animals in cleaning green areas will allow sustainable vegetation control.