The Taste the Gorge Pop Up Festival Take Away is brought to you in partnership with Adam Purnell – Shropshire Lad and Severn Gorge Countryside Trust (SGCT). The fire over which the meat will be cooked will be fuelled from the timber from the woodlands of the Gorge. SGCT manage the woodlands in the Gorge Using a continuous cover forestry system, this means there are a varied age of trees in the woodlands. Selective felling take place every 7 to 10 years which produces a varying range of wood products including firewood. SGCT also use traditional skills to make charcoal. Timber harvested from the woodlands in the Gorge is made into high quality cooking charcoal perfect for cooking your flatbreads.
Across the country woodlands are under increasing grazing pressure from deer. Young trees must survive to replace those trees that are felled, blow over or succumb to pests and diseases. Young saplings are prone to browsing by increasing populations of deer. After impact and damage surveys are carried out the population in the gorge is selectively culled to reduce this grazing pressure. Venison is an undervalued meat; being wild, free range and local it has possibly the lowest carbon foot print of any meat and is incredibly tasty as well.
SGCT manage, right here in the Gorge, some of the best wild flower meadows in the Shropshire. They do this with flock of rare breed Soay sheep. The flock’s upkeep is supported by the sale of lamb or more correctly ‘Hogget’. Hogget is lamb that has been allowed to mature slowly and has been over wintered rather than being culled early like commercial lamb. The combination of long slow growth and a diet of herb rich pasture gives a superb flavour to the meat. These sheep are predominantly being kept for their meadow management role here in the Gorge, and not on a commercial basis. This is probably some of the most tasty, sustainable and lowest carbon footprint meat you could possibly eat.