Now here’s an interesting story, goats in England have a job to do & it’s an important one! It’s their job to control the scrubby regrowth on the Avon Gorge in Bristol, England. Why? To restore natural grasses and flowers in one of the UK’s most important botanical sites.
More than a century ago it was common place to see grazing animals in the gorge, but the 6 goats that were just released into this area are the first to enjoy this habitat in 100 years.
When sheep grazing ceased at the beginning of the last century, the area quickly became overgrown endangering natural wildflowers & 27 rare plants who have suffered a significant decline. By introducing the goats to manage the scrub they are enabling these rare plants to re-establish, grow and spread.
This idea has been surrounded in controversy since its inception. There are concerns due to the area containing most of the worlds population of two rare trees (Whitebeam) and well, everyone knows, goats eat trees.
The goats are being kept in an area of the gorge called The Gully which is a site of special scientific interest. They are being contained in a fenced area that covers 4 hectares (9.8 acres) and are carefully managed by the areas rangers team and the Bristol Zoo.