CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Forget Stoptober! It’s Goatober in Dorking

PUBLISHED: 18:27 07 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:21 11 October 2016

Male billy kid goats are often seen as a waste by-product within the dairy industry

Male billy kid goats are often seen as a waste by-product within the dairy industry


Dorking usually conjures images of sprawling vines, antiques shops and the iconic Box Hill - rather than, say, goats. But its all about the kids this month, as a new foodie initiative sets out to tackle a worldwide problem. Matthew Williams speaks to food-loving, waste-hating Goatober organiser Beckie Wingrove

Christian Armstrong (The Salt Box Sandwich Co), Jon Mears (Reubens People Co), Beckie Wingrove (Wonky Parsnips) and Eric Hockey (Red Bar & Lounge)Christian Armstrong (The Salt Box Sandwich Co), Jon Mears (Reubens People Co), Beckie Wingrove (Wonky Parsnips) and Eric Hockey (Red Bar & Lounge)

First things first: what is Goatober?

Goatober is a UK-wide campaign which aims to celebrate billy goat meat, a campaign which originated in the USA six years ago. The idea for the Dorking Goatober events stemmed from a chat with Christian Armstrong of The Salt Box sandwich company, who has a strong passion for ethical, sustainable meat.

Through my blog, Wonky Parsnips, I have been learning and researching sustainable food choices, and came across the subject of kid goat earlier this year.

I’ve been wanting to initiate a local campaign that raises awareness of a topical food waste subject for a while - and so the kid goat story began.

Who is taking part?

Christian and I teamed up and approached The Cricketers, Red Bar & Lounge, The Dorking Butchery and Reuben’s People Co and they were all keen to get involved.

Why the focus on kid goat?

In a world of declining resources, food insecurity and rising food wastage, I think it’s about time we started eating more of this delicious, ethical and underestimated meat.

With a steadily increasing demand for goat’s cheese and goat’s milk within the UK, we are slowly starting to consider the fate of male billy kid goats, often seen as a waste by-product within the dairy industry, euthanized at birth or sold as meat for hunts.

Up to 40,000 young billies are killed every year, with only 1% of billy kids kept for breeding.

We’re throwing away an ethical protein source - when did you last see goat meat, let alone kid goat, on the supermarket shelf?

So what does it taste like?

It’s absolutely delicious. Adult goat, much like mutton, is generally slow cooked - to combat its reputation for being tough - and steeped in (admittedly very tasty) strong spices. However, unlike its adult counterpart, kid goat is mild and tender, with a sweet delicate flavour.

Is it possible to buy locally normally?

It’s possible to purchase kid goat that’s reared in the UK, but it’s not that easy to buy locally. Goat meat is available through your local butcher, however the majority of this is sourced from France and it is thus difficult to trace its welfare standards. In the area, there are small-scale farms that supply goat meat, such as Oakleigh Boer Goats in Leigh or Brambletigh Produce in East Sussex - however, this is generally adult goat. Think of it just like the difference between lamb and mutton.

At present, kid goat meat is difficult to source locally here in Surrey - we haven’t been able to find any local farms or smallholdings that supply it. Online, the easiest place to purchase kid meat is through Ocado, thanks to supplier Cabrito - who source British dairy billy goats that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Should we expect more themed foodie events in Dorking?

Yes! As a nation, we are becoming more and more detached from the food on our plates. My goal is to initiate similar campaigns in the future with local businesses, hoping to raise awareness of topical food waste/sustainable food related subjects.

The responsibility for the sustainability of our food supply and the condition of our farmland and farmers is very much everyone’s responsibility. I have no doubt that each and every one of us can play a part in minimising food waste to encourage a more responsible and sustainable food system.

• For more about Goatober in Dorking, visit


The Dorking flock

Beckie on the Goatober team

The Salt Box Sandwich Co: a true local food supporter, Christian runs the kitchen at The Cricketers in Dorking using locally sourced and home cured meats and making a great range of pickles, chutneys and sauces.

The Dorking Butchery: a fantastic addition to the High Street, The Dorking Butchery has played a large part in my learnings about ethical, locally sourced meat. Throughout October, kid goat meat sausages and kid goat scotch eggs will be available for local residents to purchase here.

Red Bar & Lounge: as one of the most popular restaurants in Dorking, where better to get kid goat on the menu? Check out their specials menu between Friday October 14 to Friday October 21.

The Cricketers: with The Salt Box as resident chef at the pub, we’re putting kid goat on the menu for their monthly pub quiz on Wednesday October 19. They’ll also have juicy kid goat burgers.

Reuben’s People Co: a local supplier of homemade spice rubs, it is thanks to Jon that I met the majority of the contacts who are making this campaign happen! He’ll be popping his Reuben’s Rub into The Dorking Butchery sausages.

More from Surrey Life


Wrap up in your favourite coat and scarf, grab your sparklers and a warming drink, and enjoy one of these fantastic firework displays taking place in Surrey for bonfire night

Read more

Home to outstanding architecture, ambitious community projects and arts ventures that are putting these villages firmly on the map, East and West Horsley are among our county’s most desirable addresses

Read more

Chertsey’s best-kept secret, the Great Cockcrow Railway, steamed into a half-century this year

Read more

A taste of Korea has swept into the beautiful market town of Godalming as Bada sets out its stall with a tapas-style fusion of seafood, traditional dishes and spice

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06

With friendship as the central theme in Adele Parks’ new book, Zoe Richards met up with the bestselling author and her publisher, Kate Mills, to find out how these two Surrey dwellers have discovered a successful working relationship, and become firm friends too

Read more
Yesterday, 11:37

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00

As the twilight falls, the magic begins… There’s something for everyone at Christmas at Kew – and we’re giving you the chance to win one of five family tickets for two adults and two children to the Preview Night of Christmas at Kew on Wednesday 21 November 2018

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Good table manners have long been a source of national pride but in this modern age of social media are our longstanding traditions being left behind? Rebecca Younger visits the stately Beaverbrook estate for a lesson in British etiquette

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching! We pick some of the best events to celebrate Halloween in Surrey

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From well kept secrets, to chilled out locations, Redhill is a good spot for a bite to eat. We round up some of the best restaurants…

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

From October 11 to 14, the great and the good of professional golf will tee up at Walton Health Golf Club for the 2018 British Masters. We shine a spotlight on the club as it ends an extraordinary year

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Lily James’ cinematic education has been overseen by a host of Hollywood’s most recognisable names; now, as she nears her 30th birthday, the Esher-born actress is looking to step out of her co-stars’ limelight and enjoy her leading role at the forefront of future British generations in Tinseltown

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search