The Herd

Shetland cattle are a very old breed thought to have been brought by the vikings to the Shetland Islands. They are classified as a rare breed with only around 800 breeding females surviving. Our 9 beautiful breeding cows all have names and are individuals with personalities. The breed is smaller than most commercial cattle breeds and is known for being hardy and thrifty. Plus, they're ideal for living off a 100% pasture diet.

We cross our Shetland cows with native beef breed bulls such as Hereford and Aberdeen Angus. The calves suckle from their mothers for their first 10 months and are raised with their family group until they are two to three years old and ready for slaughter. We also sometimes borrow a Shetland bull to breed more pure Shetland cows. We currently have a total of approximately 50 in the herd, which includes all age groups.

The herd lives as an intergenerational family group for most of the year. Apart from during calving season or when we bring a bull in. We use a small local abattoir and a multi award winning family butchers to process the beef and hang the meat for a minimum 21 days.

regenerating the land with happy cows

Increasing biodiversity

Increasing the diversity of species growing in the pastures is a key goal here. We have been reseeding fields with herbs, wildflowers and legumes.

This will improve the nutrition of the cattle's diet and create more habitats for invertebrates, birds and mammals.

Regenerative farming methods

Through practising a special pattern of regenerative grazing, called Holistic Planned Grazing or mob grazing, we are increasing soil health and sward diversity, aiming to leave the land in a better state for future generations.

By moving the herd daily and leaving the land to rest for long periods, we're attempting to mimic the natural grazing pattern of a herd of wild herbivores.

High animal welfare

Living and working with the cattle is a bit like having a large extended family! Their health and well being is our number one concern.

Our small-scale regenerative farming system means their lives are very low stress and they rarely develop health issues.

Never any chemicals

We never use any artificial inputs (fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides) on the land and rely on natural processes and cycles of fertility. E.g. earth worms and compost.

We do not hold any 'organic' or 'pasture-fed' certifications to prove this but we always welcome customers to 'self certify' us by coming to visit the farm.