Popular goats make welcome return to seaside cliffs
Some of Cromer’s most popular summer visitors have returned to graze on the grass and gaze out to sea.
The herd of Bagot goats has been put back onto the cliffs near Melbourne Slope after wintering in Salthouse, Wiveton and Cley-next-the-Sea.
Mark Frosdick, North Norfolk District Council’s animal control assistant, who maintains the goats, said he was delighted to have the herd back in Cromer, where they have become a popular attraction.
Mr Frosdick 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.”
The Bagot is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat and unlike most other breeds - which favour mountains and uplands - it developed in the English lowlands.
Mr Frosdick said the breed was considered “extremely vulnerable” and there only 200 to 400 breeding nanny goats in the world.
Bagots are notable for their thick black-and-white coat and long, curved horns.
The first account of the breed is of a herd in Staffordshire in 1389, which was owned by Sir John Bagot.
They were first brought to Cromer for summer season in 2016. The programme has been hailed as a success and it is through to save the council around £15,000 in vegetation maintenance and weed control.
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Earlier this year, the herd grew with 15 kids joining the family.
Mr Frosdick said: “They were introduced to help with vegetation on the cliffs - with the sea buckthorn, brambles, thistles.
“There’s no more brambles up there, the wildlife has started to return, we’ve got wildflowers coming back, and it’s looking nice.”
The goats have their own merchandise, which helps to fund their upkeep and makes the project self-sustainable. The items, which include tea towels, mugs and key rings, are available from the North Norfolk Visitor Centre in Cromer, or through Delilah Bagot’s Facebook page.
The herd will stay in Cromer for four months, before being moved elsewhere for the winter season.