News: Counting sheep along the sound barriers

Published on: 4 October 2017

The sound barriers along IJweg at Hoofddorp have had some woolly visitors since July. Some sheep have been keeping the grass clipped alongside the barriers that lie west of the Polderbaan. The barriers look like small rolling hills, and provide a durable and sustainable way of keeping the lawn mowed!

The Kempische heath sheep will remain grazing until the end of December. Sheep herder Marjike Dirkson and her husband Martijn Orij use their border collie to ensure that the sheep in the herd eat the grass evenly.

The not-so-grassy knoll

One of the great advantages of using sheep is that they offer a natural and clean means of landscaping. They stimulate biodiversity and are better for air quality. It’s also of cultural significance to have sheep in the area, since decades ago the area was home to many farms. The ground sound barriers are also susceptible to heavy industrial-strength mowers due to their shape, which can damage the landscape.

Woolly lawn mowers

It’s an open question as to whether the sheep are returning to the area after their ‘winter sleep’ – the time in which the grass barely grows. However, they will have to be moved if they start to attract hazardous birds to the area. If that happens, Marijke and Martijn will let them graze elsewhere. Until then, you can enjoy spotting the woolly lawn mowers!