Date published: 17th July 2018
North Norfolk’s famous herd of Bagot goats are now the stars of their own merchandise.
The popular goats, who spend the summer on habitat-management duty on the cliff at Cromer, have proved to be a popular draw for tourists – and fans can now take home some souvenirs of the herd.
The Goats on a Slope range of goodies, which include mugs, tea-towels, ceramic fridge magnets, mounted prints, postcards, key rings and coasters, all feature original artwork by Ian Richardson, a North Norfolk District Council employee who has what until recently was a hidden talent for drawing.
“I did panic when I was first asked to do this as no one really knew what kind of design was required and it was all a bit overwhelming. I do art mainly as a hobby!” Ian said.
“I tried a host of different designs before having an epiphany at 5.30am at my breakfast table of how the goats should look.
“It is so exciting to see my designs on items and it is a dream come true for me. I’m proud to be a part of the Goats on a Slope project.”
The range will be officially launched on Norfolk Day (July 27) at the North Norfolk Information Centre in Cromer. On the day, Ian will be on hand to sign the merchandise, and there will be some limited-edition prints available, too.
The merchandise follows last year’s “Goat Tote” bag, which proved popular.
As well as being popular with locals and tourists, the nine nannies and 10 kids carry out an important habitat-management role. 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 that helps keep plant growth across the area under control.
It has also negated the need for North Norfolk District Council to spend taxpayers’ money on keeping the cliff in good order.
Cllr Hilary Cox, Conservative Portfolio Holder for the Environment at NNDC, said: “It’s wonderful to realise that by benefiting the environment with the Goats on the Slope, it has helped someone else realise their greater potential as an artist.
“It’s thinking outside the box that makes NNDC the effective and functional council that it is, aiming to be both practical and as cost-effective as possible.”
Cllr Nigel Lloyd, Lib Dem Shadow Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “The Goats on the Slope have proved a popular addition to the many tourist attractions available at Cromer. This modest range of mementoes, with motifs designed by one of our own talented employees, will provide lasting memories of North Norfolk and this innovative and environmentally-sustainable project for our visitors.”
Cllr John Rest, Leader of the Independent Group at NNDC, said: “The goats have proved to be a huge success, not just for their environmental benefit but as an additional tourist attraction, and we as a group think this is a great initiative.
“This new range of merchandise will build on that popularity while promoting the important role they play.”
Last updated: 17th July 2018