Fernhill Farm Somerset

Based in Compton Martin in the Mendip Hills, Fernhill Farm's owner-shepherd Andy has spent the best part of 30 years creating a mendip type of sheep. As advocates for maximising their natural resources, Andy along with partner Jen and two young sons proudly rear sheep that produce stunning wool (please contact us if you'd like a sample) and a nutrient-rich meat. The sheep are 100% pasture-fed across more than 2000 acres of farmland that produce a fantastic range of minerals. Taking the meat to hoggett (1-2 years old) and mutton (more than 2 years of age) stage can mean more flavour and a texture with more defined muscle bund than typical supermarket suckling lamb. Andy only releases the sheep when they are prime which ensures a consistency of quality that isn’t possible on the open lamb market often relied upon for mass retail.

By taking a holistic approach to management, Fernhill Farm's sheep graze on permanent pasture and contribute to the health of the soil. Sheep effectively trim the grass back down to 2-3 inches above the surface so that when the sheep move on in Spring, the grass is at an optimum length for new shoots of pasture to prosper. Shepherd Andy explains: “Our sheep play a significant part in a mixed farming approach; the golden hoof effect is important to break the soil pan. The critical element is having the right density of stock and movements which means there’s no need for fertilisers, sprays and such like. We ensure the right density of sheep according to the soil and field in question and we allow appropriate recovery periods for the pasture. This is a truly local approach with sheep remaining in the Mendips the whole time. The slower, more natural rearing approach and shorter distance of travel to the abattoir in Langford means higher welfare and lower stress - better for the animals and us."

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