High Woods Country Park Rangers are celebrating the arrival of four Cheviot goats brought in to support the restoration of a wildflower meadow – with another six goats set to join them in the coming weeks.
The goats will be staying at Farthing Bottom Field, High Woods Country Park, over the next three years. Their introduction is part of a plan to restore the wildflowers in the field and encourage greater biodiversity, as part of the council’s Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project.
Visitors might be lucky to spot them but are asked not to approach or feed the goats, and not to walk dogs through the field.
Cllr Steph Nissen, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said: “We are committed to preserving and enhancing biodiversity in Colchester, and doing more each year. I am extremely pleased we have been able to work with Legacy Grazing to bring this ecologically sensitive conservation project to Colchester.
“The goats’ role is conservation-grazing of the dog rose, bramble and blackthorn that are currently dominating the site, and is vital in encouraging more wildflowers and diversity.
“This is just one small part of the wider work we are doing to safeguard and improve our environment in Colchester: from mowing less to planting trees and encouraging wildflowers.”
This opportunity has arisen thanks to the support of Legacy Grazing whose mission it is to conserve scarce wildlife and landscapes across England. They work to combine state of the art GPS technology with ecological and livestock expertise to ensure habitats and welfare are both in top condition.
Part of Legacy Grazing’s GPS technology creates a virtual fence using neck collars to focus the efforts of the goats on areas of scrub or exclude grazing at certain times of the year to promote flowering opportunities in selected locations.
You can keep up to date on the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project at www.colchester.gov.uk/better-colchester/colchesterwoodlandbiodiversity.
Page last reviewed: 20 October 2022