Tick fears as Great Orme goats invade Llandudno school field

Kashmiri goats on the Great OrmeImage copyright
Geograph / John S Turner

Image caption

Kashmiri goats have lived wild on the Great Orme since Victorian times

A school in Llandudno has had to close off parts of its grounds because the areas have been invaded by goats.

Ysgol San Sior primary school is on the lower slopes of the Great Orme headland, where a herd of Kashmiri goats have lived since Victorian times.

But some of the herd have come down off the headland and there are fears they have left ticks on the school field.

Conwy council said the goats had been driven out of the herd by rival goats.

They have then headed down the hill to the school, eating fruit trees the children have planted and leaving droppings behind.

The school’s head teacher Ian Keith Jones said: “My first job when I arrive at school in the morning is to chase the goats off the school grounds.

“We’ve had several children come to the office having picked up a tick on the sports field. It’s very worrying as ticks can cause health problems.

“We’re a school which tries hard to be environmentally friendly and teach children about the importance of nature. But the goats are causing too many problems.

“The children have been growing fruit trees, and they’re really disappointed when the trees are damaged by the goats breaking in and eating them.”

Conwy council said that the Great Orme goats are wild animals, and although it manages the country park where they live, it’s not directly responsible for them.

It said the animals were in the school grounds because they had been driven out of the herd by rival males as there were so many goats.

The council said it had been working to reduce the size of the herd by moving some of them elsewhere, and with a trial of goat contraceptives, and that had been working.

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