Last week the team were kindly invited to participate in Dyrham’s ‘Park to Plate‘ talk. This delved in to the detail behind the venue’s steps to sell their own venison meat and how it’s sustainably sourced.
Garden & Park Manager Dale gave a detailed presentation on the types of deer and their seasonality. The site aims to have 185 deer living in as-close-to-natural environment as possible, and part of this means closely managing those numbers on an annual basis. Should deer numbers go over 185, then the environment would not be able to support the wildlife effectively and each year an additional 70 are born, meaning a cull is essential.
^ Ian and Dale from Dyrham Park
This gives the park a ‘by-product’ of venison, which is proven to be healthier than other red meats and is now available in the on-site shop and we were given a sample to try out.
Although slightly ‘gamey’ in taste, the meat was fantastic. Many would shy away from venison for various reasons, but given the difference in fat content over beef and now knowing how it’s sustainable, it’s certainly a new addition to our butcher shop.
In fact we did try a variation of a recipe from the Dyrham Park website in our slow cooker, and it gave a fantastically tender stew. We recommend people a) visit Dyrham Park and b) try venison!