News & Awards
22nd Apr 2022
Our breeding flock and our fell-bred Herdwicks supply our Farmshop & Kitchen with home-reared lamb and mutton.
At High Chapel Farm we breed our own sheep because we want to supply our Farmshop & Kitchen with fully traceable Cumbrian lamb all year round.
Our 1,200-strong breeding flock of Texels crossed with North Country Mules is well suited to the wet conditions and sometimes brutal winters that prevail on our fields and moorlands. Upland soils are poor and herbage can be scant. Yet these ewes are bred to thrive outdoors, coming inside only for lambing in January, February and April.
We finish our lambs on grass when it is plentiful. In the colder months, as the grass quality and weather deteriorate, we bring some of the flock indoors for their welfare and condition and to protect the land from damage.
We’re proud to rear the Herdwick sheep, a primitive breed whose slow-grown meat is prized by chefs for its fine-grained texture and rich flavour.
The doughty Herdwicks, beloved of Beatrix Potter, are emblematic of the Lake District. Protected by their weatherproof double-fleeced coats, they have grazed the high fells for many centuries, nibbling away at tree cover to help shape the bleakly beautiful Lakeland landscape that is celebrated around the world.
We buy Herdwick lambs from Lake District fell farmers. They are born on the fells and come down to the richer grasses of High Chapel Farm, where they graze outdoors all year round.
Our farmers and butchers work closely together to supply our Farmshop with tender, flavourful Herdwick mutton every week of the year. It comes from wether shearlings: castrated males that are between one and two years old.
We use two family-owned Cumbrian abattoirs, both within a 40-mile radius of our Farm. Our Farm Manager Bob Day or Head of Butchery David Morland usually take our sheep to the abattoir themselves to ensure that stress is minimised.
Do ask our butchers for advice about buying and cooking Herdwick mutton. When you choose this speciality meat you help protect the Herdwick breed and support the farmers who care for the Lake District landscape we all cherish.