Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Goat herd to graze on Bristol Downs

The Downs, Bristol
The Downs are Bristol's largest inner city area of green space

Feral goats could become a feature of a Bristol landmark under a plan approved by the committee which looks after it.

A small herd of goats is to be introduced onto the Downs in an attempt to keep down weeds and scrub in the Gully area of the 400-acre open space.

The Downs Committee, made up off city councillors and members of the Merchant Venturers civic society, will erect fences to control the herd.

But Bristol Downs Watch said the fencing plan could be illegal.

In a submission to the committee, Downs Watch member Roger Yates said fencing to enclose the area for livestock was contrary to the 1861 Act which established the Downs as an area of common land.

The committee said the goats were part of a scheme to restore the ancient grassland and safeguard some of 27 rare plants on the Downs and the Avon Gorge cliffs below.

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