Through mährle, the wool from our farm is a contribution of lived northern german ecology.
Moin, I am John. My Föhr sheep are real “seed cabs”. With up to twenty-five thousand (!) seeds of all kinds in their wool, they ensure plant species diversity on our island. During grazing, these seeds get lost and are trampled down by the so-called “golden tread”. This is exactly why our sheep pastures are so rich in species without losing the solid, closed scar. Stigma? Yes, these dense swards are, among other things, enormously important for coastal protection (and thus for all of us here on Föhr) and are especially necessary on dikes.
At the same time, it protects native vegetation from being displaced by Jacob’s ragwort. If gaps develop in the grass without grazing, this herb can settle and is approached by bees. However, its nectar contains toxic substances, making the honey inedible for humans and animals.
This means that good grazing by our sheep protects our ecosystem very effectively from invasive plant species and allows other species to benefit as well.
For example, our Föhr sheep are very picky eaters and won’t even touch certain plants (such as thistles or flutter rushes). These plants in turn serve as an optimal food source for insects, which in turn form the menu for native bird species. A real cycle! In addition, grazing provides the preferred habitat for various meadow bird species in the first place.