We are passionate about using the very best, sustainable produce at Cubitt House and also want to learn as much as we can about the food we use so our chefs can utilise this knowledge to bring the very best food to our guests. With this in mind we took a team of chefs from across Cubitt House to visit the Englefield Estate to learn all about their deer herd and venison.
As was explained by David, Head Gamekeeper at Englefield, they have a 300-400 strong deer herd that are free to roam around an extensive acreage. David also explained that deer are probably one of the most sustainable meat products we have in the United Kingdom because they are native to our shores. To ensure all our deer live well and continue to thrive across the countryside some limited intervention is required to keep herd numbers at a manageable level, providing us with our delicious venison.
At the Englefield Estate, they take a long-term view and strive to combine good stewardship of the Estate’s landscape and wildlife habitats with successful business. The Game Department is responsible for managing game and conservation at Englefield. This work involves the careful management of an important grey partridge conservation project. Once a flourishing gamebird across the UK, the combination of predators, fewer gamekeepers and changes in farming practice – primarily the removal of hedges and the introduction of herbicides – caused numbers to decline rapidly.
From just 2 breeding pairs in 2009 (a bird on the RSPB’s red list) after a programme of habitat improvement and creation designed to provide nesting, brood rearing and winter cover there are now estimated to be 82 breeding pairs on the Englefield Estate. A great example of great countryside stewardship in action.