Bridport Goat Club

A project to establish a community Goat Club, sustainably raising and caring for goats as a small collective. Teaching young people new skills in animal husbandry, caring for the land and collectively producing milk & high welfare meat for the group.

Bridport Goat Club


This project was awarded Sustainable Development Fund support in 2021-2022 to help deliver our Management Plan policy objectives of inspiring people to be actively involved in enjoying and caring for the landscape; supporting the social and economic wellbeing of local communities in sustainable ways that care for the landscape and have the support and involvement of local people; encourage everyone to get involved, including young people and to bring people together in tackling problems and promoting new ideas.

SDF grant awarded: £1495

Other sources of funding: volunteer time

% of total funding awarded: 22%

To establish a community Goat Club, sustainably raising and caring for goats as a small collective yet close to the town of Bridport.

The project aims to teach different generations new skills in taking care of both animals and the natural environment, and as a group to collectively produce milk and high welfare meat to benefit the families involved in the project and eventually the wider community.

There was a keen emphasis on:

  • Raising healthy & contented goats through day to day care
  • Building expertise to become excellent goat custodians
  • Boosting personal wellbeing post pandemic through positive associations with nature and a shared sense of purpose amongst the group
  • Using sustainable / recycled materials
  • Working in harmony with nature and the land
  • Creating positive connections with local residents and community groups
Milling timber (c) Nick Gray

Having secured an acre plot of disused scrubland near Allington Hill, Bridport the group worked to erect environmentally friendly, low-impact fencing around the site by hand. The volunteers were careful to ensure that young oak trees and badger setts were protected on the site throughout.

The group have erected a new goat shelter from scratch, using recycled materials, with a water provision. Infrastructure in place, they are now ready to welcome 2 nanny goats on site.

The group engaged with goat keepers at Fivepenny Farm, Bridport and Childhay Manor, Beaminster to learn best practise in goat keeping first-hand and bolster the local goat-appreciation network. It seems that everyone involved with goats is passionate about them!

All legalities of owning a goat herd have been addressed by the group.

Shed Raising Day (c) Nick Gray

7 local families (13 adults & 14 children aged 2-18) have benefitted from the project.

20 volunteers have contributed 395 hours to the project.

Good networking with local farmers, land managers and goat keepers has taken place.

New links formed with local Community Groups.

Sustainable ways of working were achieved, for example through recycling wood and timber.

2 nanny goats, Annie and Daisy, are due to move onto site shortly.

Extended benefits

An opportunity presented itself to mill timber from felled trees on National Trust property at Langdon Woods – as well as being an attractive opportunity in terms of sustainability, it also led to cash savings with the constantly rising cost of materials during 2021.

The group also took the opportunity for some ‘professional’ assistance with the fencing through Dorset Conservation Volunteers who were generous in sharing their skills meaning the group could get the job done more quickly.

Nanny goats Annie and Daisy

Looking to the future

Wider publicity of the project, through friendly community events, is being planned to broaden the reach of the club, giving local residents the chance to meet the goats, learn more about them and the opportunity to become members themselves.

This will ensure the Bridport Goat Club is sustainable long term – it is envisaged that as the group grows so they will be able to increase the size of the paddock and number of goats they look after.

Suggestions to others thinking of doing a similar project:

  • Maintain transparency in communications with all members of the group to make sure they feel involved.
  • Organise a regular work day so all members can get involved.
  • Inform the local community and invite comments/concerns.
Goat Shed (c) Nick Gray
Fencing (c) Nick Gray

“Receiving a grant boosted BGC’s sense of purpose, and the time frames we needed to adhere to further positively framed the work schedule. We are exceedingly grateful for the funding, and completion-encouraging target dates!”

Nick Gray, Bridport Goat Club Founder