Posted: Mon 24th Apr 2023

Updated: Mon 24th Apr

Llandudno’s Great Orme goats to be relocated to help manage numbers

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 24th, 2023

The number of goats on Llandudno’s Great Orme will be reduced by relocating the animals, it’s been revealed.

Conwy councillors met last week to discuss ways to manage the Kashmiri goats after many ventured down from the headland into the town during the height of the Covid pandemic.

They have revisited urban areas on a number of occasions since, in some instances causing damage to residents’ properties and gardens.

The local authority has been working with Llandudno Town Council, Mostyn Estates, Natural Resources Wales, and the RSPCA to create a plan manage the animals and minimise conflict with residents.

Current methods of controlling the goat population and their movements include herding the animals and the use of contraceptive vaccinations.

Conwy’s lead environmental strategy officer Sophie Birchall revealed there are currently 153 goats on the Great Orme, including a small group grazing around Nant y Gamar Road in Craig y Don.

She said: “We are actively looking at relocating strategies and reaching out to different organisations to see if we can get some relocation happening on the grounds of conservation, but it has got to be right for the goats. We can’t just send them anywhere.”

The goats attracted international news coverage during the height of the Covid pandemic, putting Llandudno firmly on the world map.

While residents in the town have complained about issues caused by the animals, the report presented to councillors stated that landowners are ultimately responsible for protecting their land, rather than the council.

However, Cllr Paul Luckock said he was concerned about residents who are unable to secure their properties.

He said: “My slight concern is those vulnerable landowners and tenants because although I fully accept it is for the private landowners to protect their property…there are landowners who are vulnerable and struggle to build those protections around their house and gardens.”

Cllr Luckock added that planning regulations also prevented some residents from altering their properties to protect their homes.

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Nigel Smith asked officers: “Are we legally required to assist people who may be in need to secure their properties from these goats?”

Andrew Wilkinson, Conwy’s head of neighbourhood services, responded: “Not in terms of the management of the feral goat herd.

“I think it is a wider question of how we assist vulnerable people and how we prioritise assistance and for what.

“What the plan is trying to do is balance the welfare and future survival of the herd with the needs of residents so they can co-exist with the local community.

“I think we have tried to have regard for the needs of residents because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here presenting a plan.”

Cllr Austin Roberts asked council officers if Mostyn Estates should take more responsibility, given that the goats were originally a gift to Lord Mostyn.

He was told Mostyn Estates did not own the herd, but they do contribute towards the cost of contraceptive vaccinations.

Cllr Louise Emery said: “There are a number of residents who really, really find it distressing when their little garden is eaten alive, and there is really not a lot they can do about it.

“I’m not sure what the residents want because they do love the goats and at the same time hate them when they are in their garden, and if we ever suggested culling, we’d all be thrown out of Bodlondeb in an instant.”

Cllr Goronwy Edwards said it was important North Wales Police took responsibility when the goats venture onto the town’s roads.

Councillors unanimously backed the report which will be now considered by cabinet members at a later date.

By Richard Evans – Local Democracy Reporter

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