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They’re back! Cromer’s goats return to Melbourne Hill for the summer

PUBLISHED: 12:01 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:42 16 May 2018

The Bagot goats will return to Cromer today. Picture: NNDC

The Bagot goats will return to Cromer today. Picture: NNDC

NNDC

They’re back!

The Bagot goats will return to Cromer today. Picture: NNDCThe Bagot goats will return to Cromer today. Picture: NNDC

The Bagot goats which live on Melbourne Hill in Cromer are back for the summer.

And this year, the herd is not only made up of adult goats but also their babies.

The Bagot goats – which have spent the winter on duty elsewhere in Norfolk – have proved a hit with visitors over the past couple of years, as well as carrying out an important habitat-management role on Cromer’s cliff.

Nine nannies and ten kids arrived today after putting in their most recent shift at Kelling Heath.

Meanwhile, eight billies will continue their hard work at Salthouse Heath over the summer.

Councillor Hilary Cox, portfolio holder for the environment at NNDC, said: “The goats have proved to be very popular with visitors, and they have combined that with doing a superb job managing the habitat.

“We’re delighted to have them back, and we’re sure they will be welcomed by residents and visitors alike.”

In the past, the cliff area has become overgrown, leading to a problem with litter embedded and snagged in bushes.

The Bagot goats graze on rough materials rather than grass, and that helps keep plant growth across the area under control.

The Bagot is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat and unlike most other breeds - that favour mountains and uplands - it developed in the English lowlands. Bagots are very hardy and easy to tame.

This herd first came to Cromer in 2016, when eight goats began the task of keeping the cliff habitat under control.

Last year, a further eight were brought down from Cumbria and added to the herd, and the size of their enclosure was also doubled.

Since then, 10 billies were sold to Suffolk Wildlife Trust to make room for the purchase of a complete breeding herd from Somerset earlier this year.

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