Weeds or habitat?



Recently a good friend mentioned that she would like to buy us a goat for The Field.

I responded with enthusiasm and caution.

Firstly, goats are infamously moody beings.

Secondly, they are infamously uncontainable and bound to get loose one day, annoying the horses and their human owners in the adjacent field.

After some time I realised she meant the goats as a solution to the ‘weeds’ in field one. I had field three in mind for their home. Field three is where you can find grassland that has been enriched by 25 years of horse-grazing and thereby denatured. In less technical language, this means, that horses ate and defeacated for 25 years, creating areas of manured enrichment of the soil. If you’re growing rhubarb, this enrichment is a good thing. On the other hand, if your emphasis is biodiversity, this is not necessarily so peachy. As the original grassland was poor soil on a chalky substrate, enrichment is disastrous for the plants that lived in the area for many centuries (if not longer) and the various other species that rely on these specific plants.

Field three has areas of nettles and bramble consequent of horse grazing and their lavatorial behaviour (meaning horses, like people, don’t eat where they shit, which, when you think about it, is quite unusual in animal species). We need to do something about this enrichment because our priority is biodiversity. We have some as yet unrealised plans, which can be found on the wiki and goats grazing may be an answer.




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