JOE Watson, owner of Heritage Meats at Yew Tree Farm, Coniston, has received an award in the 2022 Great Taste Awards for his Herdwick sheep. 

This year saw 14,205 entries being submitted, from 110 countries around the globe, for judging as part of the 2022 awards cycle. During that time over 500 expert judges tried the entries. They tried 5,556 products and gave a Great Taste 1-star, a Great Taste 2-star, or a Great Taste 3-star award.

The panel of judges included BBC Good Food editor Keith Kendrick, Delicious Magazine editor Karen Barnes, and Bake Off contestant and author Chetna Makan.

Some of the comments from the judges about Yew Tree Farm's shoulder of Herdwick Hogget included: "Attractively presented with a lustrous sheen, this looks very appetising. The meat is tender and easy to carve. It is succulent, delicious and melts in the mouth. It has excellent texture and is moreish.’’

"We loved the glossy appearance of this hogget. The texture was phenomenal: absolutely melty and buttery in the mouth.’’

"A beautiful joint, well-trimmed but with plentiful golden fat. The aroma has the anticipated depth and richness. Tender on the palate, this relays amply the flavour of mature lamb - and the fat is delightful, sweet and suggestive of grass. An excellent example of Herdwick Hogget, we felt.’’

Cumbrian farmer and food producer Jon operates his butchery and online shop from Yew Tree Farm, a working Lakeland Hill farm spread over seven hundred acres against the backdrop of Yewdale Valley. The farm specialises in Herdwick Hogget, Herdwick Mutton and Belted Galloway Beef.

Jon said: "I’m thrilled to receive another Great Taste Award for the Herdwick I rear at Yew Tree Farm. It’s a testament to the way we rear our animals and shows that traditional farming methods, coupled with careful nurturing deliver great results that people can genuinely appreciate and recognise as being the best quality available.’’