Cows Set to Roam Freely Again in One of London's Richest Suburbs

(Bloomberg) -- Cows may soon be grazing freely across Hampstead Heath, a vast expanse of countryside in one of London’s wealthiest boroughs.

Six cows could be moved to an enclosure on the heath for a trial period in June in the first stage of the plan, a joint venture between the City of London Corp., the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Heath & Hampstead Society conservation trust, the Times reported on Saturday. Conservationists are hoping that the plan will then be expanded and ultimately big herds will graze freely across large parts of the heath, controlling vegetation in a natural way, the newspaper said.

Lindy Guinness, an artist who came up with the idea, said she had been inspired by the work of John Constable, who painted landscapes of the heath with cows in the 19th century.

“To me a landscape or park without animals in it is like a room without a fire,” Guinness said by email when contacted by Bloomberg. It seems “a wonderful way of beginning to influence children and grownups and showing how conservation of their precious lands will be greatly helped by this conservation grazing.”

Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most famous green spaces, is about 4 miles from central London. The neighborhood is home to many of the city’s most expensive homes and famous for its ponds, which attract outdoor swimmers all year round.

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