The Estate prides itself on its environmental credentials, participating in a multitude of stewardship schemes which fit in well with the organic management of the estate.
Alongside organic arable cropping a pedigree organic Sussex cattle herd has been established in recent years in addition to the rearing of organic Large Black pigs. The pork and beef produced is marketed locally to pubs and restaurants and much enjoyed by everybody.
The Buckhurst Pedigree Sussex Herd is developing a reputation for producing good quality traditional stock.
Earl De La Warr has DNA tested many of his herd to ensure that his herd is kept as pure as possible and is passionate about preserving the breed. For a few years now he has been actively encouraging other Sussex breeders to continue the Traditional lines, by meeting with other breeders, selling only Traditional stock to them and setting up the Cattle club.
The Earl De La Warr is Chairman of the Traditional Sussex Breeders Club which has been set up to promote those breeders who breed along Traditional Lines, this is cattle which have not been crossed with others breeds. In keeping the traditional line means that we believe that these do relate directly back to those Red cattle that the Normans found in the dense Forests of the Weald at the time of the Conquest in 1066. Arguably therefore the Sussex breed is one of the oldest native breed of cattle in the country.
The Traditional Cattle are recognised by the Sussex Cattle Society and marked with a “T” against their cattle number.
The newly formed Traditional Sussex Cattle Club will act as a network for buying and selling stock; improving the gene bank by using available straws from largely deceased bulls; sharing best practice and potential performance measuring and benchmarking.
The majority of Traditional Cattle are exclusively grass fed and are excellent at converting grass into meat and with their small feet are particularly suited to the wet clay soil found in the Weald. They have distinctive rich red/brown coats. They are renowned for producing a flavoursome and quality carcass and this herd has from inception been moving towards breeding only Traditional lines.
We believe that there are only circa 180 breeding cattle in the country and under the old calculations of the RBST Watchlist they would not be far off the critical category.
We are very excited to be supporting other Estates who hope to introduce Traditional Sussex Cattle and our cattle have been sold as far away as Spain for breeding.