First look at goat nannies and kids released onto Cromer cliffs
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
A cheer went up as Cromer's Bagot goats were released back onto Melbourne Hill.
The herd of goats spend their summer holidays on the cliff face, and eat the foliage which overgrows there.
'This is the third year of us doing this,' said James Wilson, environmental protection manager for the North Norfolk District Council.
'They work really well here because they're quite easy to train, they're hardy, and they get through all of the foliage which overgrows and catches rubbish.'
Mr Wilson, who has worked for the NNDC for over 20 years, continued: 'We come here once a day to check on them, and we'll feed them if it's necessary. But there is plenty of food here for them.
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'This is the first year we've had female goats and their babies, usually we have billy goats. But we want to start a breeding program as Bagots are a rare breed, and then we can sell them to other conservation areas.'
Colleague Mark Frosdick originally came up with the idea. He explained: 'We were having problems with rats. They love the Alexanders plants, and rubbish would also get caught in the hedgerows and provide another food source.
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'It would cost us about £17,000 every two years to clear along the cliff, so I suggested goats as they would eat the plants and keep the cliffs tidy, making litter collection easier.'
The Bagot goats were bought from Somerset, and a number of NNDC's herd have already been sold on to a Suffolk conservation trust for the same use.
'We'd ask members of the public not to feed the goats. By all means come and see them, they're friendly and might come up to the fence, but don't feed them.' said Mr Wilson. 'They have plenty of food as it is and we'll give them extra if it's needed.'
He added: 'The goats will be here until late autumn or early winter, depending on the weather.
'We're also working on making some goat merchandise for people to buy this summer, so they can take some goat memorabilia home after they've come to visit the goats.'