Burholme Lamb Launched In Whitewell

One of our long-standing Duchy tenants is once again putting Lancashire on the culinary map of the UK after opening a dedicated butchery service which guarantees the quality of their produce at every stage of the process.

The Spence family has been breeding and rearing sheep and cattle at Burholme Farm on the Duchy’s Whitewell estate for over 50 years. The current tenant Rod Spence took over the farm in 1989, 27 years after his father first took on the tenancy from the Duchy. In 1999, Rod extended his lease to include a total of 293 hectares, allowing him to grow his business and accommodate his growing flock of Lonks, an ancient and hardy breed native to Lancashire. He is currently Chairman of The Lonk Sheep Breeders Association, a not for profit organisation that seeks to protect and promote the breed nationwide.

At the end of March this year Rod and his family opened a dedicated butchery at Burholme Farm so that they can guarantee the quality of their meat at every stage of the process.

After just nine weeks the butchery is proving exceptionally popular with ‘Burholme Lamb’ featuring as a delicacy on the menu at the famous Inn at Whitewell and no fewer than 3 Michelin-starred chefs numbered on its client list. The Spence reputation for excellence is spreading nationwide and meat fresh from Burholme Farm has recently been sent to London at the request of chef Nigel Haworth who won the Great British Menu with his Lancashire Hotpot in 2009.

Commenting on the new butchery, Rod said: “As with all new ventures, this was a bit of a risk and we are grateful to the Duchy for backing our idea and allowing us to convert the former dairy into a modern, well equipped butchery. We were confident that the quality of our meat products and the guaranteed integrity of the process would be valued by our customers and I am delighted to say that this has proved to be the case. Both our retail and our wholesale orders are growing steadily.”

Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow congratulated Rod and his family on the new enterprise: “The Duchy is always keen to support tenant farmers who want to invest in and grow their businesses. Burholme Farm is fast becoming a byword for the highest standards of quality and excellence in terms of both the product and the service they provide. We congratulate Rod and all the family on their hard work, energy and enthusiasm for this important diversification of their business and wish them every success in the months ahead.”

Burholme Farm is one of 11 equipped farms on the Duchy’s Whitewell Estate in Lancashire. Whitewell itself is situated in the Forest of Bowland, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one of the country’s best-loved and most spectacular natural landscapes.