Herds of cows, sheep, and goats return to graze Prague's nature reserves

The Czech capital's eco-friendly grazing efforts are back with renewed vigor this year as six herds of animals enjoy the city's protected reserves.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 27.04.2024 14:29:00 (updated on 27.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

As spring blossoms, so do the green pastures of Prague's protected nature reserves, which welcome back herds of animals to help maintain the fields. This eco-friendly grazing initiative, which began in 2000, returns with renewed vigor this year and boasts two herds of cows and four mixed herds of sheep and goats.

The grazing herds, a testament to Prague's commitment to sustainable land management, graze protected nature areas across the city, from the tranquil Prokopské Valley in Prague 5 to the scenic Podbabské skály in Suchdol and popular hiking trails of Bohnické údolí in Prague 8.

"I have received reactions from the public, for whom meeting a herd of sheep during a walk was a pleasant surprise and diversion, and some people go to observe the herds purposefully as part of their weekend relaxation," Jana Komrsková, Prague deputy mayor in the areas of environment and climate, says through a press release.

"Careful management of urban farmland is a great way to restore the landscape to its natural character. Here it turns out that the traditional way of caring for the landscape is often the best possible. It is good that Prague is reclaiming this way of caring for its pastures, and after twenty years of practice we can already speak of a renewed tradition." 

This year's grazing plan aims to build on past successes. Notably, the herds of goats will navigate rocky terrains, supplementing the efforts of their ovine counterparts. These animals will traverse various locations, including the steppe habitats of Prokopské Valley, the Troja Basin, areas of the Šárka - Lysolaje Park, and elsewhere through mid-November.

Since 2000, Prague has championed grazing as a natural conservation strategy, restoring species diversity and revitalizing degraded landscapes. By disrupting grass turf and creating open spaces, grazing fosters the growth of rare plant species and provides habitat for diverse invertebrate communities.

To manage the herds, private farmers are awarded annual contracts through a tender process. In a bid to preserve ecological balance, grazing schedules are meticulously adjusted, and manual mowing is sometimes integrated into the regimen.

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

"The delicate balance in nature requires our attention. That's why I'm very glad that we in Prague have decided on an ecological approach to the care of our land through grazing management, adds Jiří Pospíšil, Prague deputy mayor in the area of ​​animal welfare.

"Our city is surrounded by picturesque countryside and protected areas. During the warm months, flocks of sheep and goats can settle on selected pastures. Their presence helps to maintain and restore the diversity of plants and animals that we have unfortunately lost in the past. This way of caring for our nature also allows us to educate and inspire future generations to respect nature and treat it responsibly."

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more