Officially known as British primitive goats, these long-horned ungulates are thought to be descended from domesticated wild goats. Historically, there have been long established scattered populations all over the wilder hills of the UK. Goats first appeared in Scotland with the Neolithic farmers some 4,500 years ago. From then on, no other breeds of goat were resident in the UK until the late 18th century.
In order to reduce the impact of goats on the Ardnamurchan landscape, Niall Rowantree has introduced a goat management plan, which aims to reduce numbers to a balanced level while maintaining the overall health of the herd. Niall also works with partner estates to translocate feral goats from conflict areas to less sensitive locations in order to maintain a viable population of feral goats on the west coast of Scotland. This on-going project supports tourism and also provides a sustainable food source for the Scottish sea eagle.
By selecting only the mature males past their breeding prime, the population is kept in balance with what the habitat can support. Because wild goats are not classified as game so do not have an official closed season. That said, for ethical reasons Niall only starts his selective cull plan once the females do not have dependent kids at foot from the autumn onwards, finishing in the middle of October in line with the stags. Through West Highland Hunting it is possible to hunt feral goats either on Ardnamurchan estate or the Scottish Borders.
Price on request.