Find out what makes our products so special
Pigs! It is a well-known fact that they are highly social and intelligent animals. They are inquisitive souls who love to roam, forage and play and so need large areas of suitable soil and grasslands to satisfy their natural urge to wander and so the rich tracts of suitable countryside in the Lake District makes this the perfect place to farm pigs.
At LDF we focus on a small number of traditional breeds which are all native to the UK but with very different origins, ranging from the 17th century in the case of the Berkshire, to the much more modern, 20th century, British Saddleback. However different their origins, they all share the same characteristics and so, with the Lake District offering some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the country, it is easy to see why some of the best pig farms have evolved here.
Our farmers all share the same ideology, rearing their animals using traditional and highly ethical practises. They ensure that their droves live in family groups, conserving a strong bond that enables each pig to relax and enjoy its surroundings. By championing a slower rate of growth, the farmers are contributing to a much longer lifespan, thereby giving the pigs a healthier and enhanced quality of life.
One of the key constituents to producing quality pork is to ensure that our pigs are raised outdoors, surviving and flourishing on a diet of organic vegetables, different varieties of grass and foraging for tasty roots, using their incredibly sturdy yet highly sensitive snouts. It is this inherent grazing ability, combined with the ideal Cumbrian climate and terrain, that enables our farmers to deliver only the finest of animals.
This Is Why our pork products truly taste of the Lake District, a flavour that has been nurtured over many decades and reflects Cumbrian pork as it has been enjoyed for generations.
Heritage Breed Beef
British Heritage Breeds are the most famous on God’s green earth. The unique breeding programme we have in place with our farmers allows us to work with all of our favourites, including Shorthorn, Blue Grey, Black Angus and of course, Belted Galloway. From the vast open fells to the huge variety of traditional grasses, the Lake District provides the perfect environment for our heritage breeds to thrive.
Our cattle are raised by people that care deeply for their animals. They spend the majority of their time with their livestock and we believe that the best farmers understand the individual characteristics of their cattle. After all, each will have its own wants and needs, and their personalities vary from animal to animal. And to get the best out of them, we realise that we too need to know them personally.
Our heritage breeds are grown slowly, and with great care, on biodiverse pastures until they reach maturity between 28-36 months. This time-honoured process allows our cattle to have both a long and fulfilled life. From a product perspective, it allows us to produce beef with that deep and distinct flavour profile that is synonymous with Lake District Farmers.
All of our beef is dry aged traditionally on the bone, ensuring that we respect the animal by maximising product quality. Our dry ageing fridges are specifically designed to produce the optimum conditions during this process, in terms of temperature control, humidity and air flow.
It is a romantic approach. It is an approach which demonstrates that doing the right thing has a symbiotic relationship in creating the best. This Is Why our British Heritage Breeds provide the very best beef.
Over the years, our British Heritage Breed Beef has become highly acclaimed and is widely recognised as the industry-leading beef produce in the UK, which has allowed our product to become a mainstay on menus in the some of the very best restaurants in the world and the opportunity to work with Chefs such as Jason Atherton, Marcus Wareing, Angela Hartnett and Michel Roux Jnr.
It is hard to find any living thing that has a more profound association with the Lake District than Herdwick Sheep. Amazingly, 95% of the Herdwick population can be found within a 14-mile radius of Coniston.
History will tell you different tales of how the Herdwicks became synonymous with our part of the world. Whilst the most common theory is that they were brought to our region during the Viking invasions of Western England some one thousand years ago, a piece of local folklore suggests that the Herdwicks arrived on a vessel belonging to the Spanish Armada which was shipwrecked on the Cumbrian coast.
Breeding practices that have been developed over centuries have created the Herdwicks we have today, the only breed of sheep able to thrive all year round on the fells of the Lake District – an animal that inherently adapted to its natural environment. The Herdwicks graze vast unfenced areas at around 2-3,000 feet above sea level, effortlessly managing the land and creating the breath-taking Lake District landscapes that have become famous around the world. These fells are home to a unique array of mosses, nutrients and traditional grasses which form the natural and balanced diet our sheep have enjoyed for hundreds of years.
Our Herdwick farmers are continuing the legacy set down and upheld over generations by their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers before them, maintaining the conventional farming methods which sustain our way of life. This is a tradition that demands unrivalled animal husbandry and a completely natural and time-honoured rearing process.
Herdwicks are hardy animals, but they grow very slowly, taking some 12-22 months to reach maturity. This Is Why the Herdwick, the legendary
Custodian of the Fells, provides the very best of lamb.
Over recent years, our Herdwick Lamb has been widely recognised as the industry-leading lamb product in the UK and indeed one of the very best across the globe, becoming a mainstay on such menus as Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Core by Clare Smyth, The Ledbury and Le Gavroche.
For the past five years, all of our sausages have been handmade by our extensively trained and long-serving artisan craftsmen, Adam and Aaron, who take great pride in their work. We train in-house to ensure that the Lake District Farmers ethos is instilled throughout our entire team and is clearly apparent in both the consistency and taste of our products.
All of our sausages are hand-mixed, hand-linked and created using natural casings.
Lake District Farmers sausages are renowned for their unique taste and texture and we believe that the key to achieving this is in the selection of the core ingredient: the meat. This is undoubtedly achieved by carefully choosing selected cuts of meat to create the perfect and consistent blend for all of our handmade products.
Whilst our sausage recipes remain an in-house secret, we are continually experimenting with different combinations, such as the pork belly and pork shoulder that comprise our Cumberland Sausage. Then we add our own distinctive combinations of seasoning to create that unique Lake District Farmers taste.
Our experimentation is an ongoing organic process undertaken in-house by the entire Lake District Farmers squad. Everyone looks forward to sausages at our “
team breakfast” on Tuesday mornings and burgers at our “
team tea” on a Thursday evening and this allows the team to be creative, cultivate ideas and develop and try out new concepts.
Only when we have what we consider to be a new and unique recipe, will we ask the Chefs we work with to offer their feedback so that we can make any ultimate improvements and fine tuning before introducing it into our product range.
Although Adam and Aaron remain the artisans, you will appreciate that we all love being part of this bespoke and very personalised process. This Is Why we are so proud of our sausages.