At Whittington Lodge Farm near Cheltenham, in the Cotswold countryside, Ian and Cathy Boyd, along with their daughter Steph Ackrill look after a herd of organic, Pastureforlife pedigree Hereford cattle.
The farm has changed over time from a focus on production for maximum yield to working in harmony with wildlife and the environment. Wild flower meadows were established on the farm with the aim to increase insect life and birds including lapwings, goldfinches and skylarks. The farm has since won numerous awards for the management of their land from RSPB, FWAG, GWCT & Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
The Hereford cattle are 100% grass fed, certified Pastureforlife, grazing on 100 hectares of glorious Cotswold wildflower meadow. The herd lives outside all year round and only hay from the wildflower meadows is fed to them as additional feed, their diet is NEVER subsidised by grain. The cattle are kept in large family groups and move around frequently onto fresh grazing. This ‘mob grazing’ not only benefits the herd but it feeds the soil and allows the plants to flower and set seed before the next grazing. The proverb is that you should not see the cattle’s knees when they go in and you should not see their ankles when they come out!
The cattle enjoy a natural lifestyle. Cows and calves remain together all their lives and
weaning happens naturally, after about 9 months. They explain,
“Calves are born each year between April and June. Walking amongst the expectant
mothers every morning is always exciting as often there is a new born calf hiding in a
patch of tall grasses.”
The couple produce beautiful Organic Pastureforlife Dry-Aged Beef from the older male
calves and any females not needed for breeding.
“As we have taken great care with the lives of our cows, we owe it to them to take care of
their end. We have chosen not to send them to market but we take them ourselves to the
nearest abattoir and the meat is then returned to us for sale.”
Marbled with soft and creamy fat, the sides of beef are aged for 28 days offering a
fantastic flavour. We’re delighted to be stocking Boyd Farm’s Hereford Beef in our Butchery.