Just a few weeks after the City Commons rangers released a flock of six goats to graze the rocky quarry at Riddlesdown, one of the animals has had to be put to sleep by vets, after it had been savaged by a dog that had been allowed to run off the lead.
Two other goats were also injured in the attack.
City Commons announced the news in their monthly newsletter.
They said, “A dog attacked the goats in the quarry and injured three of them.
“While the rangers and members of the public were quick to respond, one of the goats had to be euthanised due to the severity of the wounds.”
And the rangers explained, “Incidents like these are fortunately not common but nonetheless extremely tragic and completely avoidable.
“It is a criminal offence to allow your dog to worry livestock, even if the dog does not physically harm the animal.
“Dog owners must keep their dogs under control at all times (within sight and able to come back when called) and on a lead when walking through fields with sheep.” Or goats, or cattle.
Using livestock to graze down areas where wildflowers thrive and blossom in the spring and summer is an increasingly widespread conservation policy, actively used in the open spaces at Coulsdon, Farthing Downs, Chipstead Valley and at Roundshaw Downs.
Riddlesdown Quarry provides its own challenges, which is why sure-footed goats were chosen to graze there.
The rangers say, “The quarry is an amazing habitat with chalk wildflowers, reptiles and butterflies, but its steep slopes and thick scrub bring unique challenges for grazing livestock. Luckily these goats are very much up to the task and made little time getting into the thick scrub on the quarry top.”
- The City Commons rangers are holding a series of public events at their sites across Croydon and neighbouring areas in the next few weeks:
Heritage walk – Farthing Downs
Saturday 26 November 10am-12pm
Discover the fascinating history of Farthing Downs and its many uses from Iron Age farm to Anglo Saxon cemetery and WWII defensive position. Suggested donation £3 per person. Booking via Eventbrite
Heritage walk – Coulsdon Common
Sunday 27 November 10.30am-12pm
Discover the rich heritage and history of Coulsdon Common from windmills to workhouses and military training grounds used by Canadian soldiers. Suggested donation £3 per person. Booking via Eventbrite
Wreath making – Coulsdon Common
Friday 2 December 7pm-9pm
Come get in the festive spirit to make your own Christmas wreath adorned with natural materials gathered from Coulsdon Common. Festive refreshments provided. £20 per group/wreath. Booking via Eventbrite
Wreath making – Coulsdon Common
Saturday 3 December 4pm-6pm
Come get in the festive spirt to make your own Christmas wreath adorned with natural materials gathered from Coulsdon Common. Festive refreshments provided. £20 per group/wreath. Booking via Eventbrite
Santa’s reindeer self-guided trail – Kenley Common
Thursday 22 December 12-2pm
Santa’s reindeer have been busy on Kenley Common. Come and explore their woodland trail, make your own reindeer decoration and get a magical prize at the end! Follow the map and clues for a short 30min trail or longer 60min trail. No booking required. £3 suggested donation per child on the day. Meeting point and more information on this Eventbrite page
- And the City Commons are always seeking volunteers to assist with conservation work. The following sessions are coming up:
Thursday 24 November 10am-3pm
Sunday 27 November 10am-3pm
Thursday 1 December 10am-3pm
To be added to the mailing list for volunteering and updates, please email the City Commons rangers.
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