Pasture for Life – Case Study – Grimblethorpe Hall – Lincolnshire
At the Grimblethorpe Hall Estate, Andy and Nicola Aldridge and the team produce succulent Rare Breed Beef from their herd of native Pedigree Original Population Lincoln Red Cattle and lamb from a small flock of Lincoln Longwool Sheep.
Situated in the Lincolnshire Wolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the cattle and sheep are fed on a wholly 100% pasture diet with no grains, root crops or brassicas. They graze on the meadows in the valley that once included the Medieval Settlements of Grimblethorpe and South Cadeby.
They are very passionate about the Lincolnshire Heritage and Grimblethorpe Hall, which was built circa 1620AD which is why you will only see native heritage breeds in their fields. The cattle and sheep spend almost all of their lives outside grazing and are produced for sale either as Pedigree Breeding Livestock or for Slow Grown Beef and lamb.
The vision at Grimblethorpe Hall is to produce quality food with provenance, naturally from contented animals, that have a good quality of life within a sustainable farming system. The cattle are finished for beef between 29 to 30 months. They also have rare breed Tamworth and Large Black Pigs roaming on the edge of their woodland
The beef and sheep at Grimblethorpe Hall are Pasture for Life certified. Andy found the process to be straightforward. “We document everything and keep all our paperwork up to date, so it was easy for us. The actual audit was pretty much done while we were walking around the farm.”
The farm is a corporate and licensed member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST), is accredited organic with OF&G and there several environmental initiatives taking place on the estate to build upon the wildlife haven that already exists. The Cattle herd is also Hi-Health Accredited Free of BVD, IBR, Lepto and Risk Level 1 Johnes.
The Aldridge’s use a small, family abattoir 20 miles from the farm and because they are committed to 101% traceability of their meat they decided to set up their own Butchery in 2017. Stuart, the butcher and a key member of the team, has over 40 years’ experience in the business and shares the same passion as ‘Team Grimblethorpe Hall’ for providing customers with a premium quality final product. Andy, says that the regular comments from customers saying “it’s the best Beef and Pork they have ever tasted,” clearly shows the farming system works and definitely justifies all the hard work put in by the team!
They are fortunate to be situated in a chalk stream valley, flanked by a stream which drains through their land. With low stocking rates and moving the animals regularly so they are not over-grazing, they escaped the ravages of the drought experienced by many this year.