CONSERVING THE BRITISH LOP PIG
Getting its name from its large lop ears, the British Lop is a breed which was widely farmed until the 1960s when the change to more intensive farming led to a focus on a small number of breeds.
There are now estimated to be only 100-200 breeding sows registered in the world.
Fully grown sows can weigh 300kg and boars are even larger, but despite their size they are very placid animals. The breed is renowned for the succulence of its meat and unlike some other rare breeds it is isn't prone to putting on too much fat.
PIGS & POLLINATORS
Pigs are nature's rotavators. They root around in the soil, aerating it, killing weeds and improving the soil structure.
This project which commenced in early 2021 aims to use pigs to strip-graze an unproductive, compacted piece of land and then reseed with wildflowers carefully selected to benefit our precious pollinators.
This project is transforming an unattractive piece of scrub land into a wild flower meadow over time. As the flowers are establishing bee hotels will be incorporated and local bee keepers will be offered the opportunity to introduce bee hives.
We are lucky enough to have been given permission from Raveningham Estate to rehome some of our pigs and set them to work on conservation grazing of woodland.
The pigs uproot and disrupt the growth of invasive plants such as nettles and brambles. Their manure fertilises the earth and their activity leaves the ideal circumstances for woodland flora to re-establish once they move on.
It is also a heavenly environment for pigs. They love foraging for acorns, bramble roots and berries which enrich their diet. The woodland cover also protects them from the sun and being a pink pig, pale skin can leave them susceptible to sun burn. Woods are a pig's paradise and they do some good while they are there.
This ongoing project was inspired by our own love of this delicious and much undervalued meat and also by the book 'Much Ado About Mutton' by Bob Kennard.
Rarely found in butchers but sought after by top chefs and the favourite dish of none other than Prince Charles, Mutton is a fabulous, forgotten product.
Mutton is meat from a sheep aged 2 years plus and like any animal the flavour develops over time to create a rich, complex flavour that is hard to beat. As well as high amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals it boasts one of the highest amounts of Omega 3 of any meat. We aim to promote the virtues of this forgotten delicacy through education and selling the meat to local people.