What an amazing meeting at the council today! - BBC TV & radio, The Times, Western Daily Press, Daily Mail, _ need I go on? Wonderful support was received from interested people from far and wide.
In the end it looks as though there will be referendendum for the people of Lynton and Lynmouth to decide on the future. It is only to be hoped that the right questions will be asked.
When we talk about these issues they do not merely reflect on goat welfare or goat based issues. The Valley of Rocks needs to be fenced not necessarily for containing the goats but for containing whatever domestic animals are used additionally to achieve proper grazing. All the other means of controlling and maintaing an ecological balance in the area raise serious environmental objections. In any case the fencing and walling within the Valley needs serious attention. Slightly damaged walls collapse twice as fast as those properly maintained and the barriers around the cemetary seem designed to keep the dead inside rather than the wildlife outside. Rabbits prior to the myxomatosis outbreak will have caused at least as much damage as the goats to the juicy fresh flowers and leaves placed on graves. Similarly goats have been blamed for tree damage on Hollerday Hill whereas the Grey Squirrel is a known offender. If it were just a matter of goats then, only gardens, cemetarties, allotments and other vulnerable sites would need fencing.
Personally I treat all estimates of Goat numbers with a great degree of scepticism. These are mostly subjective. Only a full round-up and a stockade count would be truly reliable bui what people are concerned about at this stage is goats in the 'wrong place' in which case two could be too many.