Rare Bagot goats help to enhance our natural habitats

Our Bagot goats have been helping to clear scrub ahead of spring

Over the winter our Bagot goats were given a very important job to help our native wildlife conservation efforts. The black and white goats were allowed access into our nature reserve, which just so happens to border their paddock. The reserve is an important area for native plants and animals to thrive. The thicket of bushes and trees provides shelter for small mammals, reptiles and many species of birds. In the summer months the large pond becomes alive with amphibians, and dragonflies can be spotted gliding through the reeds.

One of our bagot goats

Over the years this untouched area of the park has become a little too neglected allowing brambles to encroach, shade and smother other plants. Historically, large beasts such as European bison would have roamed through woodland, eating and trampling bramble and other shrubs, allowing smaller plants to thrive. Nowadays, with bison long gone from our Welsh woodland, we manage these areas ourselves.

Bagot goats helping clear scrub in the nature reserve

Bagot goats are very well suited for conservation work like this because they are a very hardy breed. They’re a medium sized goat which means they are able to get into bramble patches with ease and their thick coat means they’re well adapted to our Welsh weather. The breed is listed by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as a breed that is unfortunately  ‘At Risk’ of extinction and Folly Farm is proud to house a large breeding herd.

The herd has now left the nature reserve and have been relocated to a birthing shed, to allow them to give birth to their kids in a safe, sheltered area.

“It was great to have some help from our Bagot goats over the winter. It has saved so many hours of work for us and it is also hugely enriching for the goats to be out roaming and nibbling natural food.” – Conservation Officer, Jack
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