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Lamb producer puts wildlife first; LAKE VYRNWY: Organic meat launched at farm managed by RSPB.

THE Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and water company Severn Trent have launched a new range of organic Welsh mountain lamb.

The range has been created in partnership between Severn Trent Water, the RSPB, who manage Lake Vyrnwy Farm in Powys, and Graig Farm Organics, an award winning agrifood business.

The lamb is reared on Lake Vyrnwy farm in the Berwyn Hills which incorporates part of the largest remaining heather moorland in Wales. The farm completed organic conversion in 2001 and holds a flock of 3,500 sheep which graze this delicate habitat.

The flock consists mainly of hardy Welsh mountain breeds that produce the best-flavoured meat, thanks to their diet of upland herbs and grasses.

Sensitive sheep grazing is improving the condition of the heather moorland to benefit spectacular birds such as hen harriers and black grouse.

Gerald Noone of Severn Trent Water said, ``The farm is managed for the benefit of birds but it is also a commercial operation with conservation at its heart.

``Through our partnership, we are demonstrating that organic farming at Lake Vyrnwy can bring important environmental and economic benefits and the provision of a clean and healthy water supply.''

RSPB chief executive Graham Wynne said, ``We recognise that consumers have a growing desire to know where their food comes from, and that they seek assurances about welfare, environmental and ethical standards.

``The launch of organic lamb from an RSPB reserve makes the vital connection between farming practices, birds and other wildlife, as well as helping to reconnect the public with the real story of the countryside.

``We also hope that this launch will send a strong message about the importance of wildlifefriendly food production.''
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 27, 2002
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