Exmoor farmers encourage public to buy lamb direct

The public can now get a taste of Exmoor at home by buying grass-fed lamb direct from some of the area's farmers
The public can now get a taste of Exmoor at home by buying grass-fed lamb direct from some of the area's farmers

A new list of Exmoor farms supplying lamb direct has been released giving the public easy access to grass-fed, environmentally-friendly local lamb.

It is the first time a supply chain has been developed for the public to buy the product, Exmoor Hill Farming Network (EHFN) and Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA) say.

Grass-fed lamb produced in Exmoor, an area which straddles Somerset and north Devon, is usually only found on menus of the area's award-winning restaurants including Woods, Dulverton and the Coleridge Restaurant.

But farmers in the area now want to promote the benefits of buying locally-produced lamb to the wider public.

One of the farmers supplying direct is Holly Purdey of Horner Farm. She said: “We farm in the Porlock Vale working with nature to ensure biodiversity across the farm is being restored, building a healthy environment for us all while producing a delicious, nutritious product.

"We keep native- breed ewes, ensuring our lambs grow at their own speed, resulting in the perfect balance of flavour, fat and tenderness.”

The register of suppliers has been complied by Katherine Williams of EHFN, who explained that local farmers protect the landscape by using both traditional and modern sustainable farming methods and keeping food miles to a minimum.

"They’re passionate about conserving the area and also the high welfare of their animals," Ms Williams said.

"Traceability and provenance are also so important to us and the animals here are all reared on a very high percentage grass diet - making the lamb both tasty and healthier to eat.”

Katrina Munro, who works on Exmoor National Park Authority’s Eat Exmoor initiative, said one thing that should be taken away from lockdown was the 'vital importance' of food security and supply.

"Local producers and shops have been at the heart of keeping people fed and now we need to ensure they continue to benefit from our support," she said.

"By buying produce from Exmoor you’ll be helping our rural economy recover as well as doing your bit to protect the environment and conserve the beautiful landscapes of Exmoor.”

The EHFN said enquiries from retail, food and hospitality businesses who wanted to supply Exmoor lamb to customers should contact katherine@ehfn.org.uk.

The network, which supports 318 locals farms, was established in 2014 to improve the viability and sustainability of Exmoor farming businesses.