Bournemouth clifftop goat herd set to double

  • In Science
  • 2022-11-26 09:45:59Z
  • By BBC

A herd of 50 goats that graze steep cliffs of a seaside resort is set to double in size.

Ten goats were first brought in as an alternative to manage the vast area of cliffside vegetation in Bournemouth by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council in 2009.

Now a breeding project is under way to expand the herd to 100 to graze the area between West Cliff to Southbourne.

Funding has come from a government agreement with Natural England.

The council and volunteer grazier, Mark Jackson, look after the herd, which includes several different breeds - Kashmir, Boer a South African breed, and feral goats.

He said: "Yes it's a lot of goats but with the amount of grazing they've got to do it's a fair number - we're going to breed at a nice slow steady pace."

The mums-to-be are taken off the clifftop about a month before they are due to birth and taken to a nearby small holding.

Tom Bennet, council ranger, said: "It's moved away from people just wanting to come to the coast and and see the amazing beaches and views.

"The goats are now a real tourist attraction in this area, which is really good."

Bournemouth clifftop goats
Bournemouth clifftop goats  

The herd live on a seven-mile (11km) stretch of cliffs year-round including during the resort's annual four-day air show.

Mr Bennet said: "They've been used to it for several years now, but Mark and some extra volunteers come and keep an eye on them during the air show."

The goats are placed in groups to graze within 11 two or three hectare fenced off areas.

"The goats are doing a really good job for us, managing vegetation that's almost impossible to do by hand," Mr Bennett said.

"Without the goats, we really struggled to look after this area."

This year's new arrivals are expected to join the herd on the cliffs in the spring.

Follow BBC South on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to


More Related News

Jesse Marsch
Jesse Marsch's scavenger tactics never suited a club that wants to be a predator

Jesse Marsch always talked a good game. He spoke constantly of "the group" at Leeds United and his "process","mood" and "development". Mortifying defeats after dominating possession would be varnished with his pride in the performance and certainty that a pot of gold lay at the end of the rainbow. Palpably a decent and personable man despite the occasional Rumpelstiltskin act on the touchline, Marsch maintained a relentless positivity that would have made Norman Vincent Peale sound like Dad's Ar

Fears grow for Christian Atsu after Turkey earthquake
Fears grow for Christian Atsu after Turkey earthquake

Fears are growing for the safety of former Chelsea and Newcastle United footballer Christian Atsu after he was one of several players reportedly caught up in Monday morning's devastating earthquake.

Premier League: Every club
Premier League: Every club's record signing

Who is each Premier League team's most expensive player ever? With each passing window, Premier League clubs continue to splash the cash and raise the price tags forever more. Indeed, sides are frequently breaking their own transfer record in search of the next best player, with nine-figure sums now becoming commonplace among the elite.

Three talking points from the Premier League
Three talking points from the Premier League

Arsenal's lead at the top of the Premier League remains five points after Manchester City squandered the chance heap pressure on the Gunners by losing 1-0 to Tottenham on Sunday.AFP Sport looks at three talking points from the Premier League weekend: - City let Arsenal off the hook - Just as the tag of title favourites looked to have finally affected Arsenal's young guns, they were handed a massive let-off by the defending champions.

Nottingham Forest vs Leeds: How to watch live, stream link, team news
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds: How to watch live, stream link, team news

Life in and around the relegation zone is tense, with eight teams separated by six points - Leeds and Forest among them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Science