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 10 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 sometimes cross our Shetland cows with native beef breed bulls such as Hereford and Aberdeen Angus. These calves suckle from their mothers for their first 10 months and then are raised with their family group until they are two to three years old and ready for slaughter.

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.

We never use any artificial inputs (fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides) on the land and rely on nature’s processes and cycles of fertility. Through using a special pattern of regenerative grazing, called Holistic Planned Grazing or mob grazing, we are increasing biodiversity and soil health, aiming to leave the land in a better state for future generations. This type of management also keeps the cattle healthy, meaning we never have to use wormers and only use antibiotics in emergencies.

Meadowsweet Herd