Goats in the city – Sustainable elimination of vegetation
If you walk around the back of the Aquahub parking lot, you might hear the clattering of hooves in the retarding pool. A herd of Boer goats are currently feasting on blackberries, onion grass bulbs and a tangled assortment of other problematic plants as part of a weed control program.
Goats naturally eat weeds and are an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to remove unwanted vegetation without using herbicides. They are also able to reach areas inaccessible to machines and people.
The goats are managed by Colin Arnold of GrazeAway, who noticed the goat’s love of weeds and other nuisance plants while tending a large property.
“When I saw how goats were eating and killing blackberries on a massive scale on a property I managed, I knew they could be an effective tool as an alternative to herbicide,” Colin said.
Colin has over 70 goats scattered across Melbourne in varying herd sizes, ranging from four goats to 30 goats.
“There are many benefits of goats controlling weeds rather than chemicals. Goats are quite selective; their favorite foods are woody weeds and often target weeds rather than certain native species. They are quiet, high performing and extremely efficient. The community also benefits; everyone loves goats,” laughed Colin.
Wicklow Borough Councilor Tasa Damante is proud of the unconventional methods the council uses to sustainably manage weed control.
“As part of ensuring a green and sustainable future for our community, we are always looking for sustainable ways to manage our nature reserves.
“It’s great to see the goats having fun in the delay tank; Can’t wait to see them the next time I visit Aquahub!” said Cr Damante.
Goats will enjoy the weed buffet at the Croydon Retarding Basin until June.
Goats at Rocky’s Paddock,
Regenerate green spaces – Rocky’s Paddock
Over the past 10 years, Rocky’s Paddock has undergone extensive restoration using goats as weedkiller.
When the goats first arrived, the boundary of the paddock was infested with weeds, the entangled biomass could not be removed manually or by machine.
The goats made their way through the prominent blackberries and environmental weeds, allowing access to the once impenetrable area.
The natives were then strategically planted to aid in regeneration. The natives encouraged the continued growth of native plants and the return of wildlife.
Today, Rocky’s paddock is a completely regenerated space, with goats periodically visiting to “impulse graze” and maintain the environment without the need for herbicides.