May is being celebrated as the Landscape and Places month as part of the NI Year of Food and Drink campaign. One thing you will spot, no matter which part of Northern Ireland’s countryside you pass through, are plenty of sheep that graze our lovely green landscapes.
There are a range of sheep farms across Northern Ireland that will open their gates to the public as part of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016. As well as providing wool for clothing, sheep are produced for their meat, known as lamb, with popular cuts including chops and shanks.
The Parks Farm will be taking part in their first Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend this summer. Run by the McHenry family, this farm boasts incredible views of some of the North Coast’s most iconic places – Ballintoy and Rathlin Island. They keep a variety of sheep breeds, including Scottish Blackface, Swaledale, Lleyn and Sufftex.
A number of our farms have mixed enterprises, breeding both sheep and other animals such as beef cattle. Other County Antrim farms that you will be able to see sheep at include the Jalex Herd, CAFRE Greenmount and Laurelview Farm. 2015 host, Egerton Farm, will be opening their farm again in County Fermanagh whilst at new host, Buchanan Farm based in County Tyrone, visitors will be able to see Suffolk and Texel sheep.
And for those in County Down, at the Walls Farm, you can see their sheep grazing with the picturesque Mountains of Mourne in the background.
You can find out more information about all the farms mentioned over on our farm section.
Want to enjoy some local lamb produce but are need some inspiration? Check out these tasty recipes, courtesy of Taste of Ulster:
Did you know?
The Northern Ireland Beef & Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIBL FQAS) is one of the longest established of all the farm quality assurance schemes, not only in the UK but probably worldwide, and is one of the strongest tools that the beef and sheep meat industries can have for marketing their products.