The Bagot Goat

The Bagot is arguably England’s oldest breed of goat, having been introduced by crusaders and successfully bred by the Bagot family since the fourteenth-century. It’s certainly an attractive breed to look at with its white coat, black face and large curved horns. When I walked through a small drove of them in Cumbria last Lord’s Day, they showed little fear of people, but were smart enough to keep on us a wary eye.


One benefit of keeping goats is their love of feasting on scrub, which develops on those parcels of land between woodland and pasture, on which grow bushes and rough grass. I dare say it has its place, but it’s unproductive and not the most sightly of landscapes. A drove of Bagots will keep scrubland at bay. By allowing them to roam so free, they benefit the land by both munching undesirable shrubs and turning them into fertiliser. Wise farmers have known tricks like this for years, and have used natural means to benefit their land and productivity. I am minded of Psalm 37:3:

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Yet we Christians are called to behave in such a way that we do good to others without even knowing it:

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Heb. 13:2)

Unwittingly, the Bagot goats enhance the Bagots’ land. Unwittingly, we believers bring light and peace into dark, dreary places without our even knowing it.