PICTURES: Grazing goats grace South Bank roof

17:54 19 October 2013

Vauxhall City Farm manager Michell Frank with Betty in the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Vauxhall City Farm manager Michell Frank with Betty in the Queen Elizabeth Hall's Roof Garden. Picture: Max Nash/PA Wire

A herd of goats spent Saturday afternoon grazing on the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank - to celebrate the start of autumn.

A few eyebrows were raised by the presence of the out-of-place mammals. Picture: Max Nash/PA WireA few eyebrows were raised by the presence of the out-of-place mammals. Picture: Max Nash/PA Wire

Gardener Paul Pulford, who tends to the building’s roof garden, said the “autumn bash” offered an environmentally friendly way of cutting back the grass and wildflowers that grow in the space.

“This is the first time in their lives they would have had the opportunity to eat these plants but it’s the most natural thing for goats to eat,” he said.

“It’s what goats have been eating on this earth for thousands and thousands of years.

“Now we buy in animal feed and we feed our cattle with soya bean products and wheat and so on.”

Australian/English Bowmont Merino sheep in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts. Picture: Max Nash/PA WireAustralian/English Bowmont Merino sheep in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts. Picture: Max Nash/PA Wire

The garden was designed in collaboration with the Eden Project and is maintained by Grounded Ecotherapy staff and volunteers based at Providence Row Housing Association, giving employment to those who, like Mr Pulford, have experienced homelessness, addiction and mental health problems.

Meanwhile in Mayfair, a flock of sheep made a special appearance at the Royal Academy today to mark the final days of Wool Week.

The Australian/English Bowmont Merino sheep gathered in pens in the courtyard outside the gallery as part of the annual UK festival to highlight wool as a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre.

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