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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 14:11 GMT
Sheep sent to rescue Abbey land
Black Hebridean Sheep
The sheep will help restore traditional heath land
A flock of sheep has been brought in by conservationists in a bid to help restore heath land surrounding Newstead Abbey.

Sherwood Forest Trust is hoping 30 Black Hebridean sheep will help to keep vegetation down to let the heather grow.

Staff at the Abbey also hope the rare animals will attract more visitors.

Most of the county's traditional heath land has disappeared with increased urbanization and changing agricultural methods.

Newstead Abbey
The abbey gets 70,000 visitors a year

Gerry Warnes, the outdoor supervisor at Newstead Abbey, said: "This breed is semi-wild and normal domestic sheep are not up to the job.

"These can look after themselves and can be out in all weathers.

"Plus there is the diet and Black Hebrideans will eat just about anything from brambles to grass."

The sheep will graze on rough land around the abbey, eating brambles, twig shoots and tussock grass, which tend to take over heath land.

Newstead Abbey is the family home of the famous poet Lord Byron.

It is owned by Nottingham City Council and attracts around 70,000 visitors a year.

The city council is currently trying to raise 3m for renovation work at the Abbey.


Click here to go to Nottingham
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08 Nov 02 | England
08 Nov 02 | England
08 Nov 02 | England
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