Legend says that the ancestors of these goats were brought back from the crusades by Richard the Lion Heart in the 12th century.
What we do know for definite is that they were given to Lord Bagot by Richard II in the 1390’s and remained in Bagot Park, near Blithfield in Staffordshire for over 500 years. During the 1960’s, Bagot Park was flooded to create a reservoir to provide water for Birmingham and the goats had to be removed. A trio were given to the Cotswold Farm Park to found our herd.
RBST Watchlist Status: Endangered (100 to 200)
The Boer goat is a native South African breed, first introduced into Britain in 1987. Whilst it was originally bred in the warm South African climate, the breed has now adapted well to the colder northern climate.
Where field shelters are provided, they can be kept in the fields throughout winter in lowland areas of the British Isles. They are quite stocky, with short legs and coupled with their docile nature, this makes it much easier to keep them in fenced paddocks than the longer legged breeds.
The Golden Guernsey Goats are a very rare breed, native of Guernsey. They came close to extinction during the Second World War when Guernsey was occupied by German Forces and many of the goats were slaughtered for food. A small group was rescued by the late Miss Miriam Milburn. Thankfully, numbers are now gradually increasing both on the islands, and here on the mainland.
RBST Watchlist Status: Minority (500 to 1000)
This white goat is named after the Saanen valley in Switzerland, where selective breeding of dairy goats has taken place for several hundred years. They were first imported in to the UK from Holland in 1922 and have had an enormous influence on the development of British goats.
Our Saanen nanny goat, Heidi, is sometimes used in our milking demonstrations.
The Toggenburg is one of the most popular breeds of goat in the UK and is used in some commercial goat farms where cheese is a main product.
The breed originated from Switzerland and were first brought to the UK in 1882. The British Toggenburg is still a brown and white goat with Swiss markings but it has been developed in the UK to be bigger with shorter hair and a higher milk yield.
Our Toggenburg nanny goat, Chloe, is sometimes used in our milking demonstrations.