Date published: 9th July 2020
North Norfolk’s famous Bagot goats have made their eagerly awaited return to Cromer cliffs.
The goats – who have wintered dutifully in Salthouse, Wiveton and Cley-next-the-Sea – carry out an important habitat-management role on Cromer’s cliff, saving the expensive and challenging task of machine-operated conservation; it is estimated they save the Council around £15,000 a year. They maintain the vegetation and encourage the ecological balance to the cliff, without destroying the local fauna through over-consumption.
They spend their winters across North Norfolk, providing their unique landscaping skills to habitat-sensitive areas, without damaging the natural infrastructure. During the summer months, they return to Cromer, where they remain for four months until the winter season.
Animal Control Assistant, Mark Frosdick, who maintains the goats and conceptualised the idea, said:
“After a long winter of landscaping in and around North Norfolk, it’s great to see the goats back to normality out on Cromer cliffs, where they’ll spend the next couple of months grazing back the vegetation and keeping the slopes under control”
One local resident, who observed their return, commented: “During the summer months, I come down and see them on the slopes every morning. It makes my day to see them”
See the video of their return:
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 very hardy and easy to tame and have been hugely popular with residents and visitors.
This herd first came to Cromer in 2016, when eight goats began the task of keeping the cliff habitat under control. Earlier this year, the herd grew in number with 15 kids joining the family.
The Bagot goats don’t only maintain the cliff face they also help to improve the aesthetics of the area, reducing the levels of unwanted vegetation and managing the county wildlife site in a green and ecological manner.
The goats have their own merchandise, which helps to fund the upkeep of the goats and make the project self-sustainable. They are currently on display at the North Norfolk Visitor Centre in Cromer, or through Delilah Bagot’s Facebook page
Last updated: 9th July 2020