Jessica adds animals to her business mix

Jessica (left), Jill and Anthony feed the animals at Goats on the Roof.
Jessica (left), Jill and Anthony feed the animals at Goats on the Roof.

A Ponteland pharmacist is diversifying after buying Northumberland’s most unusual coffee shop.

But Jessica Taylor insists that adding the unique attraction Goats on the Roof to her dispensing business wasn’t a decision taken on the hoof.

The venue, located by Fontburn Reservoir on the B6342 road from Wallington to Rothbury, features a herd of Bagot goats, which graze on its living roof of sedum.

It is re-opening for the summer season tomorrow (Good Friday) and, during the Easter weekend, visiting children will also be able to feed the lambs.

The coffee shop boasts a children’s play area and offers a range of food supplied by Rothbury Bakery. It will be managed by Jill Johnson, who works weekdays at Taylors Pharmacy in Brewery Lane, Ponteland, as a checking technician.

Miss Taylor, 26, said: “Me and my fiancé Anthony have bought Fontburn Farm and the shop actually came with the land. Jill was interested in running it, so we will be re-opening for the summer season on Easter weekend.

“It’s a really unusual visitor attraction in a lovely location overlooking Fontburn Reservoir and, with the play area and the animals, it’s great for the children. We’re hoping for a busy summer.”

Goats on the Roof was launched in 2010 with funding from the Rural Development Programme for England and former regional development agency One North East. Its inspiration was a similar project in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

It will be open between 10am and 4.30pm from Good Friday until Easter Monday and then every weekend until October. For more information, call 01669 621739.