We now have our very own Stansted Saddleback pigs that have been brought in to help with forest regeneration. They act out a similar role to that of wild boar, by clearing bracken and bramble which shade out other wild plants.
These rare breed pigs mature slowly and because they live outdoors they need to develop the muscles and fat needed to survive outside. This gives them a higher fat content and a special taste and texture and the meat remains moist and succulent. With a mixed diet supplemented by feed, old fruit and veg from the farm shop, and the bracken, bramble, acorn, chestnuts, roots and mushrooms from the woods, the taste is unlike any pork you would find in a supermarket.
Bracken grows rapidly through underground runners called rhizomes. Because its fronds are toxic to most animals it often spreads unchecked. Pigs eat both the rhizomes and fronds and, by rooting and exposing the soil, they also create an excellent seedbed for the germination of trees and other woodland plants.
Once a particular area is cleared, the pigs are moved to a new part of the wood that the Stansted Head Forester needs to clear. We are hoping to have a fairly constant supply of Stansted Pork, but do call or send us an email to check on availability.