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Date published: 26th May 2016
A new habitat management project by NNDC hopes to keep an area of Cromer cliff under control with the introduction of goats.
Eight Bagot billy goats will be released into a fenced off area in June where their grazing will keep unwanted plant species and excessive growth to a minimum
In the past the cliff area has become overgrown, leading to a problem with litter embedded and snagged in bushes. The Bagot goats graze on rough materials rather than grass and will therefore keep plant growth over the area under control.
Cllr Angie Fitch-Tillett, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “This is an exciting project we hope the people of Cromer will be able to enjoy two-fold – for the habitat management the goats will offer and the enjoyment of having unusual animals in the town.
“Now residents and visitors will not only be able to enjoy the beautiful Cromer sunsets, but watch our Billy goats working hard to keep the town beautiful.”
The Bagot is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat and unlike most other breeds - that favour mountains and uplands - it developed in the English lowlands. Bagots are hardy and easy to tame.
NNDC’s Cromer goats have been checked and monitored by a local vet and their welfare will continue to be appraised over their time on Cromer cliff. They will be surrounded by double livestock fencing that will be six foot tall at the bottom of the slope. The fences will be checked twice a day.
Cllr Fitch-Tillett added: “We must ask people not to feed or touch the goats because they have a job of work to do and we need them to not get distracted.”
The habitat grazing project was developed with support from Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the goats arrived with the District Council in April. Two came from the Dinosaur Park near Lenwade in Norfolk, and the other six from Levens Hall, Cumbria where they are raised as a semi-feral parkland breed. They have spent the past weeks getting used to one another and settling into their new group.
The goats will be released into the fenced-off area in June and remain until October or November when they will be taken to other NNDC land to graze over the winter. If the goats clear the land too rapidly they will be moved to other land for grazing.
Last updated: 6th July 2016