GOATS are being used to weed out any issues with overgrowth in an environmentally friendly approach to maintaining one community’s graveyard.
Four new mountain goats have been hired by the Templebreedy Save our Steeple committee to keep a local graveyard clean and tidy during the summer months.
Local councillor Audrey Buckley explained: "We are delighted to host the goats for the summer months here at Templebreedy to help us environmentally clear areas within St. Matthews graveyard.
“This idea first was first realised after a trip to Swansea and the Gower, seeing the sheep roaming around the Gower, doing a fantastic job of the area to aide walkers and the many tourist pathways. After some research I read that in the UK and USA there are businesses that rent out sheep and goats to clear areas and older delicate graveyards.
“With this in mind, the Templebreedy Save Our Steeple committee decided that after Phase 1 of consolidation of the church/steeple we would have a phase 2 of helping the graveyard, many headstones have not been seen by anyone.
"We decided this was the perfect time to look to rent goats as the community is available to help us look after any goats we have.
"We were pointed in the direction of Norah de Bara from Castletownbere. Norah has been so supportive of our project and making sure the goats' safety and health is paramount.
“With the aide of Dave Walsh, Tom Brophy and Edward Whitley to organise the transport of the goats and our local municipal district council office to aide with fencing we were able to achieve our goal faster than expected.
“They are quite shy and not used to human contact. We are asking the community to please help us, if you are popping by to visit them Please have your dog on a lead and no feeding the goats please, the goats are not used to anything other than vegetation and we don't want them to get sick."