The Shugborough Estate located near Stafford has decided to call in a rather unusual source of support in order to assist with their upkeep of one of the most important and renowned features on its prestigious estate.
The popular attraction for tourists has opted to unleash a group of rare Bagot goats to work on the internationally recognised East Walled Garden.
There is an additional purpose for this, as they are looking to help revitalise the future of the breed by giving it a whole new purpose and a ‘job’ at the Estate. Therefore Shugborough took steps to move its small flock of Bagots into the garden as part of their new environmentally-friendly conservation enterprise.
As you can appreciate, if you enjoy maintaining your garden with ‘normal tools’, maintaining any garden can be a costly exercise. But Shugborough know that it’s a particularly expensive and labour-intensive duty, and the existence of their spectacular gardens is under serious threat from the aggressive saplings weeds encroaching on the gardens. The team behind the task of caring for the spaces had to rule out the support of any garden machinery, due to the bat roosts on this part of the estate. So with this in mind, their hope is that they will see the goats doing the work required while they leisurely mooch around grazing.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “Shugborough’s 24 Bagot Goats have the purest genetics left, and are so important that they are owned by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and are entrusted to the care of the Shugborough Estate because its welfare standards are so high.”
“Shugborough is one of the few farms in the UK with Rare Breed Status, and we’re hoping that this new goat-powered conservation move could prove a blueprint for other sites to follow.
“The goats will become yet another attraction for Shugborough, and visitors will be able to see this near extinct rare breed at work as they preserve and uncover more and more of the archaeology in the area.”
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