Thank you to my lovely friend Helen for suggesting a visit to Wimpole Estate to photograph some goats. Wimpole is home to a herd of Bagot goats, a breed known for its distinctive black and white colour. The origin of the breed is not known, but they have resided in England since at least the 1300s. They are intrepid conservationists and often employed to graze upon historical sites to maintain surrounding landscapes.
Earlier this year, the twelfth of February to be precise, I reported that a friend of mine in San Francisco worked in an office that employed a herd of goats to do some landscaping around that building. Indeed, goats can digest all sorts of plants that are poisonous and quite a nuisance to humans. In fact, the digestive and grazing abilities of goats are now being employed to fight wild fires in California. With increasing wild fires brought on by the climate crisis, herds of goats are increasingly being called upon to clear out brush and areas at high risk of fires. Using goats in this way is totally green, as herbicides can be detrimental to the environment, and mowing equipment uses fossil fuels and creates air and noise pollution. Additionally, goat herds are low risk and more economical – in Laguna City, California where goats have been clearing brush for nearly twenty years a safety report estimates that a man-powered clearing crew costs $28,000 per acre while a herd of goats costs only $500. Goats may not be able to solve all of our problems, or the climate crisis, but every effort definitely helps!
We live in a beautiful world, full of diverse life and environments. Sadly, the world is changing as the global temperature climbs higher and higher every year. Today is Earth Day, and perhaps consider two things. First, think about ways that you can help out. Maybe instead of driving to a shop you cycle, walk or take public transportation. Start carrying some cloth bags to carry your groceries in and say no to disposable plastics. Or even consider reducing your consumption of meat and dairy products. Second, demand that your government representatives take the threat of climate change seriously, as it effects us all. The Earth is a wondrous place, and we are her stewards, it’s up to us to set things right.
A friend of mine who lives in San Fransisco lives in a house nearby where a herd of goats has been hired to clear weeds and brush! City grazing rents out their herd to graze on brush and weeds, eliminating the need for fuel-guzzling lawn mowers and toxic herbicides! Not to mention, goats help prevent weeds and secondary growth from returning because they stop seeds form spreading, AND clearing out the brush helps prevent wildfires! Plus, goats are amazing – wouldn’t you rather see a herd of goats happily munching away rather than someone on a lawnmower?