Breaking with nearly four decades of tradition, the Luing Cattle Society will host its annual open day in England for the first ever time this year.
The event, in August, at High House Farm, Winster, Lake District, hopes to highlight to the English market the huge potential that Luing cattle can offer, in terms of commerciality and environmental responsibility.
The day, held on the Scowcroft family estate, overlooking the shores of Lake Windermere, is being supported by Natural England, to demonstrate to farmers the specific environmental benefits that Luings can bring in terms of protecting and enhancing some of the country’s most precious and celebrated landscapes and habitats.
The event aims to attract an audience of 400 local and national farmers, existing and potential Luing breeders, environmentalists and food, farming, and forestry industry leaders, as well as providing an enjoyable, educational experience for members of the general public. As well as a chance to see the Luing herd grazing the farm there will be activities throughout the day including an event hub of local and national, food and farming traders in the style of a traditional, Cumbrian, agricultural show.
Farm manager Alec Smith said: “We have worked hard over the last 10 years to establish and grow a pedigree herd of Luing cattle.
“The Luings have demonstrated many, valuable benefits to our farm and to our landscape.
“We needed a breed that could manage adequately our rough, Lakeland land with minimal intervention, yet still deliver productivity and a high commercial yield. We are delighted to host the open day and share our experience with our visitors.”
Andrew McNee, Luing Cattle Society chairman, added: “Luings have been a successful and sustainable cattle breed in Scotland since their beginnings in the 1940s.
“They are a hardy, breed, capable of out-wintering and unaided calving, which makes them a perfect proposition for the rugged landscapes of the English Lake District.
“In fact, 49% of the stock from our 2013 annual, Castle Douglas sale, was bought by farmers in Northern England. Their efficiency can be recognised in environmental terms but, with pedigree bulling heifer sales at Castle Douglas averaging £1,261 this year, there is proof that their commercial potential is significant as well.”
Natural England’s Cumbria manager Simon Humphries said: “We are delighted that the Luing Cattle Society’s open day will be held in the Lakes for the first time this summer.
“Luing cattle are proving to be an excellent native breed to use where conservation grazing is needed and very well-suited to the uplands of Cumbria.
“It’s great news that the Luings are bringing both commercial and environmental benefits to the area. We’re looking forward to sharing the story of this traditional cattle breed with even more people during this event.”
The event will be held during the afternoon of Friday, August 1. Due to space and parking restrictions, it will be capped at 400 attendees.
People wishing to attend should register their interest in advance. The event is free to attend and refreshments, including the chance to enjoy Luing beef reared on the farm, will be provided.
Register at www.winsterluings.tumblr.com or contact Alec Smith direct on 015394 44060 or 07919 233112.