South west Scotland stock farm first in UK to achieve Park Venison Assurance certification

Rupert Shaw
Rupert Shaw

Gledpark in south west Scotland is the first UK business to become a BDFPA / SFQC Park Venison Assured producer.

The deer enterprise at Gledpark on the Borgue peninsula was only initiated in 2012 when its new entrant owner Rupert Shaw retired from the Army. The deer herd was founded with Scottish bloodlines from the Cairngorms and Aberdeenshire, and these foundation stock, evidenced by high calving rate as yearlings in 2014, are thriving in their new home.

Located five miles from Kirkcudbright, the farm is classified as LFA Severely Disadvantaged, with animals set stocked on what were the most marginal and difficult acres of the farm.

The farm currently has a red deer breeding herd of 50 with plans to expand, and a handling system allows live animals to be sold. Animals are outside all year and calve in May.

A fold of Pedigree Whitebred Shorthorns enrolled in the Premium Cattle Health Scheme (PCHS), renewables (wind and solar) and the production of honey in partnership with A Bee Provided make up some of the farms other enterprises.

Rupert Shaw says:

We are thrilled to have achieved the required standard at our first attempt and to be the first UK business to be assured under this new scheme which was only launched last year.

I aim to be professional and thorough in my approach to all aspects of my farming enterprise, so it is great to have this endorsed further through certification in this scheme.

Dick Playfair, Secretary, The Scottish Venison Partnership, says:

The deer sector presents a significant opportunity right now for farmers looking to diversify. Rupert is setting a superb example with this enterprise where he has written quality into his systems from the outset and this is clearly reflected in Gledpark being the first business in the UK to become a member of the British Deer Farms and Parks Association Park Venison Assurance Scheme.