Four-legged lawnmowers, called sheep, are keeping ski slopes in good shape over summer and prevent erosion, overgrowth, and avalanches.
SHEEP graze the slopes
Hauser Kaibling is the ski mountain serving the touristic town, Haus im Ennstal. In summer, its slopes are grazed by more than 800 sheep and lambs, looked after by a shepherd and his dog.
EROSION, landslide, and avalanch prevention
The fertiliser that is naturally produced by the sheep has a positive effect on the quality and amount of grass. While grazing, the sheep apply gentle pressure with their hooves, thus strengthening the ground and promoting good turf development. Grazed areas can store much more water, and thus prevent landslides. This means the erosion on skiing and snowboarding slopes can largely be prevented. Avalanches in winter are also less common on well-kept areas, as the mat effect is eliminated by flattening long grass. Plant diversity, and biodiversity more generally, are also fostered by using this approach.
THE PRESERVATION OF THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE
In the 120 day grazing period, the sheep eat more than one million kilograms of grass, tasty Alpine herbs, and shrub leaves. In this way, they make a significant contribution to the preservation of the cultural landscape and prevent tree and bush overgrowth on mountain pastures.