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‘Please drive carefully and respect our goats’

A GRANDMOTHER is campaigning for more road signs warning of goats in and around Llandudno after a small herd of animals were killed. Four goats were killed earlier this month when they were hit by a vehicle on the A470 at Wormhout Way.

The goats have roamed Llandudno and Craig y Don since the pandemic lockdowns saw the animals venture from the Great Orme into the resort’s empty streets.

Conwy Council has previously said it won’t fence in the goats due to the risk of the authority becoming solely responsible for the creatures’ welfare. But following the accident last week, some are calling for more road signs in and around Llandudno to warn motorists of the animals’ presence.

Llandudno grandmother of four and mum of five Wendy Keenan says the council needs to put up more road signs.

Llandudno grandmother of four and mum of five Wendy Keenan says the council needs to erect more road signs: “I put a post on ‘You Know You’re from Llandudno’ Facebook page, and it’s had about 320 people liking it,” she said.

“I’ve given everyone the email address of the environmental team at Conwy and asked everybody to email them to request for road signs to be put up, something like ‘please drive carefully and respect our goats’.“ A lot of people have phoned the council. They do need to do something. We definitely need more signs up in the town. Four goats were killed, and it really upset me. I’m an animal lover and a vegan. I just feel that nobody seems to be looking after those goats.“ They just seem to be wandering, and I’ve always worried there might be an accident. People come to town, and they might not even know about the goats. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and now it has.”

She added: “That could have been a bus-load of kids that hit those goats. The children could have been hurt. The road is on the way to Ysgol Creuddyn. A human could have got killed. I just think it is awful. They need to do something.“The goats are really important to Llandudno. It is unique, isn’t it? You can’t go anywhere in the world where you’ve got goats roaming freely, and people do come here to catch a glimpse of them in town.”

The council has been working with Llandudno Town Council, Mostyn Estates, Natural Resources Wales, and the RSPCA to create a plan to manage the animals and minimise conflict with residents.Last year the council revealed there were 153 goats on the Great Orme, including a small group grazing around Nant y Gamar Road in Craig y Don.

But Cllr Louise Emery said the council was restricted in which signs it can use, explaining deer signs are already up around St David’s College where the accident occurred.“ If you put signs up on roads, they’ve got to be official highway approved,” she said.“

But there is not one that has a goat on it. Outside St David’s College, there is a deer sign because that is the closest we can get, and that is generally a wild animal sign. So there are the deer signs, and they are already up in the area where the goats got killed.“

The goats live on the Great Orme, don’t they? At this time of year, they come down from the Orme because the new grass isn’t quite grown, so March time, they are always in town.”

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She added: “About this time of the year, the majority of goats are making their way back up onto the Great Orme. There is an issue with goats around Nant y Gamar, Craig y Don, and the A470, and there are signs that have been put there. I don’t believe we need signs all over the town because it is only in the short months between winter and spring we see them down in the town.”

A Conwy County Council spokeswoman said: “The Llandudno Feral Goat Management Plan to monitor and manage the goat population was adopted in 2023 by stakeholders including Conwy County Borough Council, Natural Resources Wales, Mostyn Estates, RSPCA, and Llandudno Town Council.“

The goats are frequently seen around the town. They are likely to return to the Great Orme when the rut begins and remain there for the summer months. With partners, we occasionally relocate goats back to the Great Orme if there is an unacceptable risk to human or animal welfare.

Twenty-one goats were recently rounded up from the Craig y Don area of town.”She added, “Wild animal signs are in place to warn drivers that animals are likely to be in the road ahead.”

Kashmir goats originate from Tibet, Nepal, Ladakh, and Kashmir – where they are called Changthangi, Changra, or Pashmina goats.The Great Orme goats descend from a pair gifted by Queen Victoria to a local aristocrat, according to the council’s website: “

In the 1890s a pair of the Windsor Great Park goats were given to Major-General Sir Savage Lloyd Mostyn by Queen Victoria, possibly around the time when he finished serving as Colonel of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

The goats were initially kept at Gloddaeth Hall, where they bred, and they were released onto the Great Orme sometime after.”