When Agnes Scott College was approached about clearing away invasive plant species on land it owned adjacent to campus, the college’s Office of Sustainability opted for a very natural solution—eating the thick and unruly plants—with the help of some hungry sheep.
Invasive plant species such as privet and kudzu were strangling the native trees. Neighborhood environmental supporters and the college partnered to solve the problem by working with Ewe-niversally Green, a company that sets up a flock of sheep to consume unwanted plants with the help of a safely electrified fence and dogs to herd and guard the sheep.
The sheep are guided onto a fenced property ready to be cleared by a sheep-herding dog, such as a Border Collie. The sheep then sleep and eat on the property for several days, clearing away the invasive plants. One or two guard dogs also reside in the enclosure to protect the sheep and warn of trespassers or escaped sheep.
The sheep are trained to eat primarily the unwanted plants, leaving the trees and other native plants intact. With the invasive plants removed, the native trees and plant life can again thrive.
Roughly 60 sheep were on campus for one week clearing the land near campus, providing entertainment and education (about sheep and sustainability) to the Agnes Scott community and neighborhood residents.