Low Sizergh Barn
PRODUCER: Low Sizergh Barn, Cumbria
PRODUCT: Low Sizergh Farm Raw Milk & Kendal Creamy Cheese
REGION: North West
CATEGORY: From the Dairy (Primary)
WHAT THEY DO
Low Sizergh Farm is a diverse rural business run by three generations of the Park family, who have been recognised for their leading work in farming, environmental stewardship, food and tourism. They were shortlisted for two products. Richard runs the farm with wife Judith and son Matthew, while his sister Alison and mother Marjorie take care of the farm shop, gift and craft galleries and tearoom. Dad John jokes that, “he’s now the farm boy sent to run all the errands”.
The farm’s primary crop is the grass pastures that feed the family’s 170 cross-bred Holstein, Swedish Red and Montbéliarde cows. This herd’s raw milk is sold in the farm shop and through a milk vending machine on site entirely unprocessed, unpasteurised – not skimmed, homogenised or filtered. Visitors to the farm can see the cows in the milking parlour before purchasing their fresh milk just metres away, reviving a tradition that began with the Parks’ great-grandfather taking the milk by cart to Kendal. Alison says of the milk: “Its provenance can be measured in farm yards and its taste reflects the grazing seasons.”
The milk at Low Sizergh Barn has 3.4 per cent protein and 4.3 per cent butterfat, ideal for cheesemaking. The family-run Rostock Dairy make this raw material into three different types of cheese. Low Sizergh’s Kendal Creamy Cheese is matured for 10-12 weeks for the optimum texture and flavour.
The farm is a community hub, employing more than 50 local people and operating with the support of more than 40 businesses within a 50-mile radius. The shop showcases 80-plus suppliers, from nearby growers to bigger regional names. Social enterprise Growing Well also works on site; their organic vegetables and salads are available in the shop, tearoom and through a crop-share scheme.
Alison says, “The family are committed to leaving an enhanced environmental legacy for the next generation. Our practices continue to replenish and enrich the soil; encourage biodiversity; lead the way on animal welfare; and sustain a thriving community of local and artisan suppliers around our farm shop enterprise”.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID:
The judging panel all awarded Low Sizergh Barn full marks for their passion, describing the family as “proud, passionate and pioneering”. The judges liked that the farm was family-owned, the cows were grass-fed, and cheese produced locally using traditional methods. The family’s work championing the local area and safeguarding the environment was also praised.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: lowsizerghbarn.co.uk
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