Sheep have been called in to help preserve the wildlife of a South Downs park.

The Herdwick sheep arrived at Wild Park in Brighton on Wednesday, January 9.

Council staff hope their grazing will mean the downland meadows will remain a haven for wild flowers and butterflies.

The 20 sheep are among 600 currently being used in similar schemes around the city, at Sheepcote Valley, Beacon Hill in Rottingdean and Stanmer Park.

Countryside ranger David Larkin said: “The Downs were famous for their sheep, but sheep farming declined, with the loss of important habitat that wasn’t maintained by sheep grazing.

“At Wild Park it is the first time there have been sheep there for probably 100 years.”

Volunteer “lookerers” work on a rota to go and check that the sheep are all right.

The Herdwick breed is from the hill farms of Cumbria so are used to foraging in areas with sparse pasture.

To become a lookerer, visit

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+