Animal Welfare Posts

Latest news from the Denham Estate.

Showing news in the 'animal welfare' category

Jan 2017 Update

Posted by Katy on Monday, 16 January 2017 at 12:51:11

Filed under: animal welfare

As Autumn started the years fawns were weaned in the warm shelter of the barns before being allowed out to start foraging for themselves, and no sooner are the fawns out then the rut starts. The roaring sound of the bucks can be heard all over the Denham and beyond.

Even if the bucks have their antlers taken off for safety you can tell they are very full of themselves at this time of year.

Autumn is also the time for food guides with the Good Pub Guide 2017 having too many of our customers to list in, but special mention must be made to The Beehive in Berkshire and The Cock in Cambridgeshire both of which were awarded the Top Dining Pub in their respective counties. And congratulations to all our customers mentioned in the Michelin Guide too.

A special mention has to be made of Lee Bye, the chef at the local Tuddenham Mill who was awarded the esteemed Acorn Award 2016 and Acorn Scholarship 2017. He has already started work on his plans to help young chefs continue in their chosen career with a Young Chefs Seminar held on 30th January at Tuddenham Mill.

As the weather gets colder the game season starts in earnest first with the smaller birds like partridge and teal and then onto the pheasants, mallard, pigeon, hares and rabbits – game that likes all the good food of Autumn to grow.

Then own shoots start, providing more very local produce and good social gatherings too as most people who attend are old friends who come every season to shoot with us.

Our 2016 Christmas charity was Emmaeus, a charity that does so much for people needing a home and a help up. We had also been approached to see if we could help with the Keech Hospice Dinner again this year. Of course we said yes and what a magnificent total was raised! So happy to have contributed.

A very busy Christmas and New Year came and went in a flash, and here we are, 2017!

A new year with new plans, ideas and stratagems! Watch this space!

Tags: Jan 2017 Update

Quarterly Update June 2016

Posted by Katy on Friday, 10 June 2016 at 08:58:30

Filed under: animal welfare, ethos

March

Another mixed group of chefs and front of house staff from Galvin’s restaurants came visiting. From seeing the animals and how they are cared for, to a butchery demonstration, it is such a great way for customers to see where the produce comes from and be able to ask any questions, technical or otherwise, and also for us to learn from them more of the full supply chain story; literally from the paddock to the plate.

Later in the month we had a private function in the office – the combined 130th birthday of two of our long serving members of staff. Not used to doing things by halves at the Estate, we had a Champagne and Cake lunch – with our apologies to anyone who phoned that afternoon who thought we were a little more relaxed than usual! We all had a very good time!

I must say that the cake was beautifully made by Sam at Newmarket Catering.

The big farm project completed over the last Winter started to show its benefits. This was the clearing of overgrown trees and vegetation in the Denham Castle moat after permission was gained from both Natural England and Historic England to start work on the scheduled monument site. The remains of the moat had become so overgrown with shrub (mainly Willow), that it would soon be unrecognisable as a moat and would ultimately dry up, so work commenced to mechanically remove the clumps of Willow from the water and clear the banks of brambles. As the site regenerates it is much easier to control the less desirable weeds and scrub and encourage the more beneficial ones to improve the site as an area of both historic and environmental interest.

April

We were very pleased to find out that Byron Franklin of Clare College, Cambridge, used our Denham Castle lamb to get to the finals of the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year 2016. Huge congratulations to him to make it through against very tough competition.

On the awards front, a couple of our customers did really well in the East Anglian Food and Drink Awards 2016 with Tuddenham Mill’s Max Cameron winning the Young Chef of the Year, Tuddenham Mill winning Restaurant of the Year and Pea Porridge’s James Carn-Pryor winning Chef of the Year. Very, very well done to all of them.

The ewes are waiting to give birth!

Another visit. This time from Cyrus Todiwalla and his team. Cyrus has been a very long term customer of ours and it is always a pleasure to see him again. This time they made a film of their time at the Estate. This version is just a rough one (like the winter coats of the deer) – the finished version will be here in a week or so (like the summer coats of the deer).

May

May is busy. May is for lambs and fawns and blossoms on the trees and fields.

We started a complete and major renovation, inside and out, of one of the Estate rental properties. Huge, overgrown Leylandii hedges were taken out and it was suddenly revealed what a wonderful view out across the fields over to St Mary’s Church and Denham Hall this house actually had!

Jeremy’s Wood has had very little management in the 25 years since it was planted and has become very overgrown. The trees are too close together, not letting enough light get down to the woodland floor. This makes the understory of a wood very bare and of little benefit to wildlife. We have had some woodland experts in to devise a management plan which, once complete, will lead to spending future winter months working to improve Jeremy’s Wood as a natural habitat for a variety of animals, birds, trees and flowers. It will be a big ongoing project.

Tags: update

Quarterly Update

Posted by Katy on Monday, 22 February 2016 at 17:59:24

Filed under: farming, deer, products, animal welfare, wild boar

December

The warm(ish) winter weather has given us an opportunity of continuing the general maintenance on the estate like the fencing, of which we have some miles!

We also needed to repair a water leak which was, of course, right in the middle of the car park and much further down than we thought. Matt was allowed out of the hole by Christmas, though.

January

But when the weather did get colder and frostier the morning view from the office window was wonderful.

February

We were really honoured to be asked to be involved with this year’s Zest Quest Asia (http://www.zestquestasia.com) by our friend and long-time customer Cyrus Todiwala. We supplied venison for the Shammi Kavaab at the events gala dinner (Shammi Kavaab- venison cooked with yellow split peas and spices, ground to a smooth paste, formed into patties, filled with chutney and pan-fried – now say you are not hungry!) and Cecilia, who was invited to the event, can vouch for all the superb food.

On the night Milton Keynes College pipped rivals Doncaster College, University College Birmingham, University of West London, and former champions, Farnborough College and Westminster Kingsway College following a cook-off held at Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, the signature restaurant of the Hilton London Heathrow T5. All 6 colleges did so well to get to the final as the competition was very stiff. Congratulations to them all!

The winning entry from Milton Keynes College

We were also a happy contributor to Merlin Labron-Johnson’s residence at Patty and Bun (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/patty-bun-residence-with-merlin-labron-johnson-portland-restaurant-tickets-19906993353) to raise funds for the refugee charity 'Calais Kitchen'. This amazing group of people provide free food to thousands of starving refugees in Calais every day and any help is gratefully received.

Tags: winter

Hot Weather Rams

Posted by Katy on Thursday, 25 July 2013 at 17:57:10

Filed under: lamb, images, animal welfare

We Managed to Get the Rams Shorn in Time for the Hot Weather.

Here is one of our Southdowns before:

And here he is after:

Practically a different animal!

The Denham Castle lambs are growing apace and have now been weaned onto silage aftermath (that's three weeks of fresh growth after silage has been cut, basically a fresh, clean un-grazed field).

With fawning now finished the bucks have reached full antler growth and will start to shed velvet in the next two weeks.

All we need now is the weather to dry off a bit and then harvest will start next week which will keep everyone very busy!

Tags: rams, weather, shearing

New Pictures in the Denham Gallery

Posted by Katy on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 at 17:55:51

Filed under: lamb, images, animal welfare

New Photographs

We are now about half way through lambing and Neil, our stock man has had a chance to take some photos.

The pregnant ewes are kept the lambing shed for warmth and comfort and so they can be closely watched. Once they have given birth they are moved to their own private rooms for a couple of days to make sure they are fit and well and  then they can be released out into the fields. With the weather being how it is this Spring, each lamb is equipped with its own coat which keeps it dry but is mostly to protect against the cold wind.

You can view more pictures in our photo gallery.

Tags: gallery, lambs, lambing

Anglia Farmer Article

Posted by Katy on Thursday, 04 April 2013 at 13:19:15

Filed under: lamb, animal welfare

A journalist from Anglia Farmer magazine managed to get hold of Matthew and Neil, just before lambing set in with a vengeance and this article about the Estate came out in April’s issue:

Click to view the article

Tags: anlgia farmer

Food Festival

Posted by Katy on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 at 14:07:25

Filed under: estate, products

On April 23rd Neil Clarke, our livestock manager is going to be talking about the estate and looking after our animals at the British Food Producers Festival held at the Royal Garden Hotel. Our contribution to the menu will be venison loin from which the Executive Head Chef Steve Munkley will create.

Smoked Denham Estate venison loin with Braeburn apple and celery slaw, and Cheltenham beetroot which sounds delicious!

Tags: food festival

First Lamb of the Season

Posted by Katy on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 at 12:04:19

Filed under: lamb, animal welfare

Things have been very busy here! We have some news - our first lamb of the season has been born about a month early after her mother leapt in with the rams last autumn! There is no holding some ewes back. Pictures below show Naomi, as the stock man has called her.

Tags: lamb

Cover Boy

Posted by Katy on Friday, 31 August 2012 at 10:18:34

Filed under: estate, animal welfare, ethos

Neil, our livestock manager, has become cover boy for this month’s British Farmer and Grower magazine. It’s not just one really rather good cover photo but inside there is an article on how the Denham Estate has evolved from apples through to Fallow venison and Denham Castle lambs – there are more pictures too!

Read the full article.

Neil, the cover boy!

Tags: magazine