Wilder Beef from Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Porthminster Beach Café teams up with Cornwall Wildlife Trust to trial Wilder Beef

Here at Porthminster we are really proud to be one of the first restaurants to trial a new Cornwall Wildlife Trust initiative to sell meat from cattle which graze their sites.

The first meat boxes were delivered just before Christmas and both our chefs and customers were impressed with the quality and taste of the meat – as well as the important story behind it.

We’re looking forward to working with the Trust even more closely in the future; we don’t use a lot of beef here at Porthminster but the aim is that when we do it will have the lowest environmental impact possible.

Read on to find out how our partnership with the Trust is helping contribute towards our sustainability goals…

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust manages 57 nature reserves across the county, many of which are grazed with cattle. The cattle naturally maintain the sites and make them attractive to wildlife, preventing young trees and grass from taking over fragile habitats and allowing a greater diversity of interesting plants to grow.

This in turn encourages birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife to thrive on the sites. The first batch of Wilder Beef we received was from a herd of Belted Galloway cattle (a native British breed which is suited to grazing rough land all year) which had been used to manage a habitat enjoyed by the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly.

Grass-fed beef is much better for the environment. Without the need for cereals to reach their finishing weight, these smaller grass-fed cattle are a much more sustainable prospect than commercially reared cows and crucially no soya is grown to feed them.

Cattle fed entirely on grass also have a good ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and generally the flavour is believed to be better.

The cattle are locally butchered and the meat is sold direct. The first batch of Wilder Beef was butchered by James Kittow in Par, within just a few miles of where the cows grazed.

It is vacuumed pack with all the traceability info, then packed in a cardboard box insulated with compostable sheep’s wool.

Using wildlife-friendly beef is just one way we are reducing our environmental impact. Our kitchen garden, foraging efforts and reliance on sustainably sourced local seafood are all important aspects of our drive to become as green as possible.

Although we probably sell less beef than many restaurants, because commercial cattle farming has such a detrimental effect on global emissions using it risked undoing all our efforts in other areas.

We are very keen to see the Wilder Beef initiative succeed and would like to thank the CWT for the work they are doing to nurture our precious habitats here in Cornwall.

“Porthminster Beach Café are a great partner for us because they practice many of the principles we are promoting in terms of thinking about where their produce comes from and the environmental implications of that supply chain. 

I’m very impressed that they have their own vegetable garden and forage for ingredients along the coast path. They’re also members of the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide which is another CWT initiative.

We’re happy that we can supply them with beef of the highest wildlife and environmental credentials, and look forward to seeing what delicious dishes they create with it.”

Sean O’Hea, Mid Cornwall Reserves Manager, Deputy Head of Nature Reserves, Cornwall Wildlife Trust