You can see feral goats in several parts of Islay, including, especially, The Oa, the Rinns, and the north coast. A census a few years ago found about 750 of which 400 were on The Oa. They are all descendants of goats which were once kept on farms not just for meat and milk but also because where farms included coastal cliffs, the goats were deliberately put into the cliff-top pastures in the hope that they would graze patches of grass down the cliffs and thus reduce the temptation for the sheep to do likewise. Goats are sufficiently sure-footed and agile to be able to do this without falling off. Sheep, on the other hand............!
This is a blog of natural history notes maintained and moderated by members of the management committee of the INHT: Fiona MacGillivray, Martin Armstrong, David Webster, Andrew Kent, Isobel Freeman, Bernard Hannett, Danielle Vessey and Alistair Hutchison, and our Centre Managers, Mandy and Fiona assisted by Beth and Jenny.
We hope that many people, both those who live here and visitors, will contribute their notes and impressions of the natural world on Islay. Please send to:
Photographs, or even short video clips, are particularly welcome.
We look forward to hearing from you
Fiona MacGillivray, Chairperson
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