Bailey Hill Farm

Jonathan & Laura Chapman - Native Beef and Lamb. Hertforshire

The farmers

We are huge fans of Native Beef and lamb, Jonathan and Laura Chapman farm on the Hertfordshire / Buckinghamshire borders, in the beautiful countryside a stone’s throw from London. Working mostly with Red Ruby Devon cattle, one of Britain’s oldest native breeds.
They are famed for the succulence and flavour of their meat, which is tender and well marbled. They are also hardy, calm and well suited to an outdoor life.

The cattle & sheep

Red Rubies naturally lay down intramuscular fat, giving wonderful, succulent, flavoursome meat.  As a small, hardy, native breed they can go through to finishing weight on a pasture only diet, which is good for the flavour and composition of the beef. The sheep are Exlana which is a composite breed famed for being hardy and low input as well as for dropping their wool. They are well suited to being purely pasture fed and able to lamb outdoors.

The land

The Chapmans farm 150 acres and their approach to management minimises stress for the cattle. This is the right thing to do for the animals, and is also good for the quality of the beef. Stressed animals produce dry, bland meat, because of chemical processes within the muscles. So keeping our cattle content is important in every way.

They are reared outdoors and live an active life with freedom to move.
Calves are born indoors for ease of management and welfare, then raised outside by their mothers.
They keep mixed-age groups to replicate a natural herd environment. Transportation is kept to a minimum, and when ready to go they are taken to an abattoir chosen specifically for its high welfare standards.
The farm is PFLA certified and the Chapmans practice Holistic Planned Grazing to sequester carbon into the soil, these techniques are truly regenerative and the farm has seen a huge increase in biodiversity and doubling of soil carbon under their stewardship.
Jonathan has carried out Ecological Outcome Verification on his land and has doubled soil carbon in the past 6 years.