Have you ever wondered about the origin of those goats which are seen every year munching grass on the cliff slope at Cromer, a little to the west of the pier? On Tuesday 7 May we found out! Mr Mark Frosdick, Animal Control Assistant with North Norfolk District Council, gave us a most interesting talk entitled ‘Goats on the Slope’. The project started in 2015 when the problem of dealing with overgrown vegetation on the slope threatened to be very expensive. Mark suggested putting goats there to deal with the vegetation and was permitted to try the idea out. By 2017 the project was so successful (and economical compared with normal grass-cutting) that the area for the goats to feed on was tripled. The species used is a rare species, the Bagot goat. (The name derives from the Bagot family, to whom some of these goats were given by people returning from the Crusades.) The animals are hardy (there are also some Bagot goats in Cumbria) and they managed very well during the long snowy winter of 2018 – they are wintered further west along the coast and the costs of this are met by the sales of merchandise. There is also a breeding programme, and a number of billies are on loan to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The National Trust is also showing some interest! The aim is to make the project self-sustaining, and an increasing merchandising programme is enabling this; furthermore, in 2019 it is hoped to develop a website. There was a good time of questions and answers after the talk, and Mark was thanked by our chairman, Jack Broughton.
Leave a Reply