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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 January 2007, 17:24 GMT
Grid mastered by 'naughty' goats
Wild goat
Villagers are upset by the goats eating the cemetery flowers
A notorious herd of wild goats has brought havoc to a north Devon village once again.

About a dozen billy goats managed to cross a 40,000 cattle grid, which was put in to keep them out of the picturesque village of Lynton.

The goats, which have roamed the Valley of Rocks near Lynmouth for hundreds of years, have divided villagers.

Some claim they are destructive and dangerous pests, while others say they are an important tourist drawcard.

In May 2005, the goats were given a reprieve when the town council abandoned its plans to cull them, in favour of installing the grid.

But it has only taken the goats a few months to learn how to "tip-toe" over it to get back into the village, where they have again been eating flowers in the cemetery and damaging gardens, along with the local cricket pitch.

They are very naughty goats
Suzette Hibbert, Lynton mayor

Mayor Suzette Hibbert said the problem would need to be addressed once again.

"They are very naughty goats and really quite adept at walking on or between the cattle grid as they have very long legs," she said.

"As well as being escapologists they can climb trees, but they do get into the cemetery and eat the freshly laid flowers, which upsets the residents very much."

Ms Hibbert said the council was in discussions with the county council, Exmoor Park Authority and grid supplier.

"But to be quite honest I don't think there is a cattle grid to keep them out."

The 80-strong herd grazes in the 300-acre valley in Exmoor National Park and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.


SEE ALSO
Wild goats facing a gruff future
08 Apr 05 |  Cornwall

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