The National Trust Reveals Consumers Need a Leg Up With Farming Knowledge
SWINDON, England, November 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –
The National Trust has revealed the results from a new survey* which
show that the vast majority (93 per cent) of people in Great Britain don’t
know the best time of year to enjoy eating British lamb.
Only seven per cent of respondents correctly identified autumn as the
time for tucking into one of Britain’s favourites, with half (49 per cent)
choosing spring as the best time to serve lamb – the time of year when most
lambs are born.
The research marks six months of the National Trust’s mass on-line
MyFarm [http://www.my-farm.org.uk ] experiment at its 1,200 acre organic
farm [http://www.my-farm.org.uk/on-the-farm ] at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire.
The innovative project aims to involve people in farming and where their
food comes from by enabling them to make decisions on a real working farm.
An online straw poll of the MyFarm community revealed that 19 per cent
knew the best time of year to enjoy lamb – more than double the outcome of
the wider non-subscriber survey – suggesting the experiment is making useful
Richard Morris, the National Trust’s Farm Manager at Wimpole, said:
“Eating lamb when it’s in season ensures consumers can enjoy the meat at its
“Lambs born in the spring feed outside on grass throughout the summer
resulting in really flavoursome and tender meat.
“The lamb we see on our supermarket shelves in the spring is either
shipped in from abroad, or has been barn-reared out of season without the
benefit of maturing and developing naturally on grass.”
Other results highlighted consumer confusion over hogget (a mature lamb
between one and two years old) with only 16 per cent of respondents aware
that hogget is meat from sheep.
It also revealed only 40 per cent of Britons buy British lamb with 21
per cent buying its New Zealand relation and 16 per cent just
indiscriminately selecting whatever is on the supermarket shelves.
By contrast, 51 per cent of MyFarm subscribers could identify hogget -
three times as many as the wider survey – and 63 per cent brought British
Richard Morris added: “The National Trust
[http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main ] is the country’s biggest farmer -
more than 80 per cent of the 250,000 hectares of land under our care is
farmed in some way and we see it as our role to re-connect people with
farming and to encourage them to care more about where their food comes
“We can do this via experiments such as MyFarm which lift the lid on the
realities of farming in the 21st Century.”
Notes to Editors:
* The survey was carried out by TNS Omnibus in November 2011. Total
sample size was 1270 meat eating adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between
3-10 November. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been
weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16-64).
About The National Trust:
The National Trust is one of the most important nature conservation
charities in Europe. The Trust is involved in the whole food chain, with
200,000 hectares of food producing land, over 150 restaurants and tearooms,
and historic kitchen gardens, orchards and mills. The charity has community
growing spaces – from allotments to kitchen gardens – at over 50 locations
around the country and is increasing these annually. These spaces inspire
the Trust’s 4 million members, 62,000 volunteers and visitors to think and
learn about food. The National Trust has created 1,000 new allotment plots
on its land in the next three years to give local communities the space to
grow their own fruit and vegetables. Find out more at
PR Contact: Jeannette Heard Assistant Press Officer The National Trust Heelis Kemble Drive Swindon SN2 2NA +44(0)1793-817706 http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
SOURCE The National Trust