Lynton Feral goat

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Country United Kingdom, GB
Location Lynton, Exmoor, England
Species Goat
Synonyms British Native Goat
Management semi-feral
Population size 39 (2012)
Morphology Robust, horned, small ears, mixed colours
History The Domesday Book (1086) recorded seventy-five goats in the Manor of Lyntonia. Over the years the fortunes of the goats have been somewhat mixed and man´s intervention has played an important part in their history. Goats were removed in the mid-nineteenth century as Coopers guide of 1853 tells us that formerly wild goats were encouraged in the valley, and that it was felt necessary to destroy them as they killed so many sheep by butting them over the adjacent cliffs. Goats were again introduced into the valley in 1897 by Sir Thomas and Lady Hewitt. These were domestic goats believed to have come from Sandringham and although not ideally suited to the harsh environment of the valley survived as a small, mainly white herd until they eventually died out in the 1960s. The herd in the valley today originated from the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland and were introduced in 1976. They are well suited to the valley environment and breed freely. This goat is our original native breed, introduced by the very first farmers, but further developed and shaped by the harsh climate of Northern Europe, so that it is small and stocky with a large rumen that can be packed full of poor grade fodder which then acts like a furnace to keep it warm. Even its ears are small to ward off the effects of frost, and its overall appearance is very much in keeping with the Exmoor Pony, a breed that developed in similar conditions. In fact, the British Native Goat has been termed the ´Exmoor Pony Of The Goat World´. As a domestic animal, this was the goat of the Celtic ancestors and of Roman Britain. More of the same were brought in by the Saxons, and they in turn were stolen by Viking raiders who kept the same kind of goat back home. William the Conqueror inadvertently encouraged them to go feral when he destroyed whole village communities to create the New Forest, and this goat was the herding animal of the Medieval manor and the later village green.
Remarks Animals from Lynton used in feral conservation grazing in other areas of the UK (
Source of information Friends of the Lynton Goats


Lynton feral Goat

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