Clarissa and one of her calves

The Friary has a small herd of pedigree rare breed Shetland Cattle to help in the management of our wildflower meadows and other grasslands. 

Shetlands are especially well suited to this job as they are extremely hardy and do very well on the rougher but arguably more nutritious food our meadows produce. 

Their patchy grazing helps to open up spaces for diversity within the meadows. 

Their cowpats help with this as well because we don’t treat the cows with insecticides they are home to dozens of different species of insect who in turn provide food for bats and birds.

Beautiful mum and baby

We also make use of the meat they produce.  We send the boys for slaughter very locally when they are about 2 years old.  We are committed to undertaking the butchery ourselves to ensure we are fully engaged with the realities of meat eating and that we honour the animal by making sure we don’t waste anything. 

Clarissa and another of her calves

Hilfield Friary is part of the Society of St Francis, a worldwide Anglican

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