British Heritage Sheep - New tastes from old traditions

The British Heritage Sheep project is an initiative introducing the public to the fantastic flavours and sublime eating experiences of one of the UK’s iconic and priceless assets – its 60 native breeds of sheep.

As well as offering consumers exciting new eating experiences the strategic proposal aims to highlight to the sheep sector the opportunity to promote and protect the diversity of Britain’s native breeds of sheep, adding value to the sheep supply chain, enhancing landscapes, rural communities and the environment.

The Heritage Sheep proposal is based on informing consumers about the ‘ABC’ of sheep meat. This is the Age and breed of the sheep, and the area of countryside where it has been farmed. Age is in three categories – lamb (up to 12 months); hogget (12-24 months), and mutton (24 months+). Breeds focus on UK Native breeds developed before 1960 – around 60 of them, and the Countryside is specific UK landscapes and environments. Labels will inform consumers about these different aspects, as well as others, which will be accessed by consumers via an app and barcode. This may be for example some Suffolk lamb from the Somerset Levels or Cambridgeshire fens, or Welsh Mountain or Cheviot mutton from the Cambrian mountains.