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    Image caption: Dot McCarthy says hiring out her goats, including Sebastian and Lulu (above), is easier than selling manure

    On a slightly lighter note a farmer has revealed she has been able to keep her staff in work throughout the pandemic due to the “insane” success she found hiring out her goats for Zoom meetings during lockdown.

    Dot McCarthy from Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Rossendale, Lancashire, says she has made £50,000 out of the scheme since coming up with the idea of hiring out Sebastian, Lulu, Margaret and their friends for £5 to brighten video calls.

    Dot, 32, says she put an advert for the idea on the farm website to “give people a laugh” in April 2020, during the UK’s first lockdown, and then went to bed – but woke up to 200 emails requesting their presence on calls.

    Her goats have now appeared in virtual meetings all over the world, including in the US, Russia, China and Australia – with one family booking Margaret every Saturday morning.

    Read more here.