You’re kidding: goats steal cream of the crop at Delph allotments

FROM cabbages, carrots and potatoes to runner beans and sprouts, there’s a crop of vegetables grown at Delph Allotments to rival any greengrocers’ store.

But the owners of the plots, at the end of Holland Close, have not been able to enjoy the fruits of their labours recently – because they have been beaten to it by goats.

The unwanted visitors have been spotted on numerous occasions jumping over the stone wall into the plots and helping themselves to the spoils before skipping away again.

Frustrated allotment tenants have contacted the Independent to highlight the issue and some have also raised their concerns with Delph Allotments Society.

Michael Marsh, one of the original trustees of the allotments and tenant of a plot since 1997, explained: “They just jump over the wall and walk all over the allotments and eat the plants and vegetables.

“Three years ago we had the same problem, and I lost a lot of my produce. It’s happening again now.

“It is disheartening. We all work hard to look after our allotments and now some of us will end up with no produce to harvest this time.”

Michael, 75, added that he has spoken to the Society and also to the farmer who owns the field backing onto the allotments to see what can be done.

Nicky Park, another of the 18 allotment tenants, said the goats initially caused problems a few years ago but have been running riot over the last few weeks.

She said: “It happened a couple of years ago and the goats jumped over and eat all my spouts just before Christmas!

The goats helping themselves to this years crop

“Over the last few weeks it has been pretty much every day. I’ve had friends ring me to say they are passing the allotments and the goats are there eating my vegetables.

“They’ve just eaten my runner beans, which were the last things for this season, and my neighbour’s corn.

“I have seen the farmer come in and chase them away but as soon as he turns his back, they return again.

“I don’t want to keep putting all the effort in and then everything just gets eaten,” added Nicky, who has had her allotment for four years.

“They are really nice allotments for local people who put a lot of hard work into it.”

William Smith, Delph Allotments Society secretary, confirmed they have received a number of complaints from the allotment tenants and they are looking into the matter.

Farmer Aiden Broadbent and his family own the land that backs onto the allotments but he denied the goats causing problems belong to them.

He told the Independent: “No one has said anything to me. If they don’t tell you, what can you do?

“They know where we are. Just come over and have a word. We are not going to bite their heads off.

“We’ve got about 10 goats now, I’ve lost track. But every time I see them, they are where they are supposed to be.”

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