For the past 30 years St Mary’s in Ticehurst, East Sussex, has invited the small flock – made up of six ewes and their lambs – into the churchyard for part of the year to increase biodiversity.
Penny Evans, a licensed lay reader at the parish, explained: “We now have Wiltshire Horns in the churchyard, which works very well with our churchyard conservation project.
“Wiltshire Horns do not need shearing, and so there is plenty of wool available for the birds’ nests.
“Birds even fill their boxes with cosy sheep wool. They also do an excellent job of looking after the grass in the churchyard.”
In fact, the sheep helped the church gain a Gold Eco Award from the environment charity A Rocha UK. It is only the 24th church to achieve the award.
— Church of England Environment Programme (@CofEEnvironment) February 15, 2022