Food producers play a significant role in protecting our wildlife.
Our Wildlife Friendly Food Project between May 2017 and May 2018 saw us celebrate the local producers who are doing their bit to protect wildlife.
The year-long project showcased 12 food and drink producers that are making strides to minimise their impact on the environment. It focused on producers that work to create habitats that wildlife need to thrive, demonstrating that producing food can work in harmony with nature.
It reconnected people with good practice in food production and actively promoted positive change towards a future where wildlife-friendly food is the favoured option for the majority.
To show our commitment to wildlife-friendly food producers, we continue to feature these 12 local producers at our cafe at Crickley Hill. Many are also available at our smaller cafe kiosk at Robinswood Hill Country Park, and at our recently opened cafe in the new visitors centre at Greystones.
Our Wildlife Friendly Food Producers
Bensons the Juicers
Using the finest British apples as the basis of all their products, Bensons are doing their bit to keep British orchards flourishing. That means safeguarding the habitats that wildlife need and the biodiversity-rich soils on which their fruit is grown.
Based on Gloucestershire's historic Sherbourne Estate, they share their farm with resident bats, sheep and foxes, and maintain it so they can thrive.
Extracting the most they can from their juices and reducing waste, Bensons also minimise the use of water in their production plant and keep packaging simple, informative and recyclable.
They work hard to share their values by educating their customers and the producers in their supply chain on the importance of local, natural produce. Find a range of Bensons' juices and ice lollies in our cafes.
Cotteswold Dairy is a family-run business with a strong Cotswolds heritage, producing milk and dairy products since 1983.
They pride themselves on working closely and ethically with the farmers that supply them. Their milk is sourced only from farms within a 50-mile radius of their production site minimising food miles and playing a vital part in maintaining dairy farming as a key part of local communities.
Cotteswold believes that happy cows produce the highest quality, best-tasting milk and this is why all of their contracted farmers are members of the Red Tractor assurance scheme.
They remain committed to producing milk in glass bottles, which can be reused multiple times before being recycled and 30% of their doorstep vehicles are electric. Find their milk in our hot drinks or see their website to find out about doorstep delivery.
Day's Cottage apple juice has been produced for well over 20 years since Helen and David were inspired by an old orchard on their family farm.
Since then, they've planted hundreds of fruit trees in over 20 acres of traditional orchard with heritage and local varieties including the Gloucestershire Museum Orchard established in collaboration with Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.
All of their orchards are managed without chemicals and they pride themselves on the highest levels of biodiversity.
They deliver within a 15-mile radius on carefully planned routes and even deliver local produce from other producers to save on mileage. They use solar power on their farm and minimise the use of water in growing their apples. They use packaging that is completely recyclable including reusable glass bottles for their juice.
Jess's Ladies Organic
The Vaughan family, based on Hardwicke Farm, milk just 80 cows; the Ladies, as they're affectionately named. The cows are not pushed in their production and they're encouraged to exhibit natural behaviour.
They maintain their farm with wildlife in mind and look after the woodland and endless ancient hedgerows that surround their farm.
All of Jess's Ladies products come from their own cows. They bottle their own, organic milk products on site in the most natural way possible. All products are unhomogenised, fresh and untampered with. Simply pasteurised on site and delivered straight to local shelves, retaining a great, natural flavour.
Kitchen Garden Foods
Kitchen Garden foods was founded in the heart of the Cotswolds in 1989 by Barbara Moinet. From her kitchen table Barbara made blackberry and apple jam with the blackberries picked from the local hedgerow. Fast forward to today and the original ethics of Kitchen Garden are preserved and adhered to.
Everything Kitchen Garden makes is by hand, using entirely natural ingredients and their products contain no artificial additives or trans fats. They have strict quality control and traceability procedures in place to ensure their products and ethics remain the same as they did in 1989. They gained Organic certification in 1998 and still retain that to the present day.
Everything they do is with the environment and nature in mind and they're always looking for ways to improve their practices to better align with these values.
Simon Weaver Organic
Milk for Simon Weaver Organic's award-winning, beautifully creamy cheese comes exclusively from his own cows and is produced organically with welfare standards that go beyond normal farming practices.
The farm on which the cows graze has a comprehensive environmental and conservation plan to encourage and promote wildlife. The farm is ideally situated to growing grass, alongside low-lying river meadows rich in wildflowers. Their creamery is powered using renewable energy sources and most of their milk comes just five metres from the milking shed to the creamery.
As an organic farmer, he doesn't use any artificial fertilisers or chemicals to grow their grass or crops.
You'll find a variety of Simon Weaver Organic cheese in our cafes, including the Greystones Single Gloucester, produced in partnership with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Taynton Farm Foods
The family run bakery has been making quality, homemade cakes, sponges and tray bakes for over 20 years. They use organic ingredients and free range eggs.
Based in the Gloucestershire countryside, Taynton Farm Foods take pride in supplying to their local community and independent local retailers within a 50-mile radius. They manage to the majority of deliveries themselves to avoid goods being taken out to a depot and returned back to the area.
Procedures are in place and regularly updated to minimise waste, review product quality and ensure they use as little packaging as possible. You'll find a range of products from Taynton Farm Foods in our cafes, including their award-winning sponge cakes, made fresh to order, just for our customers.
The Artisan Kitchen
Small is beautiful at The Artisan Kitchen, with a range of award-winning preserves, jams and marmalades that are handmade and homemade in small batches in a big copper pot bubbling away at the heart of a small Gloucestershire kitchen.
Great care, love and pride goes into all of the little jars using some of the best, hand-picked, seasonal produce, often discovered in private orchards, allotments, hedgerows and farms from across Gloucestershire.
The Artisan Kitchen use donated, recycled packaging and give any products that don't pass quality control to local food banks and charities. You can enjoy the award-winning Blaisdon red plum jam on a scone with cream and a cup of tea at Crickley Hill cafe.
The Cotswold Farmer
With a passion for food and farming that's grown since the seventies, The Cotswold Farmer is a long serving part of the local food community of Gloucestershire.
Based in the North Cotswolds and priding themselves on environmental responsibility, they work hard to keep transport miles low as they deliver a variety of meat products from their farm.
They maintain their land to the delight of many species of wildlife. Being keen naturalists themselves, they enjoy seeing the barn owls, buzzards and kestrels that frequent their land.
Keeping packaging minimal, avoiding non-hydronated fat and adhering to assurance schemes have helped them towards making it into our Wildlife Friendly Food project. You'll find their sausages on our menus all year round.
The Severn Project
The Severn Project is a community interest company that uses the production of organically grown food to create employment opportunities for people with significant barriers to the workplace. They produce some of the best salad leaves we've ever tasted!
They have a comprehensive wildlife policy for the management of their land, ensuring they provide nesting and foraging areas for birds and access to water. They use no herbicides and no harmful fertilisers. They harvest rainwater from their polytunnels and have the capacity to store more than a million litres. Their environmental consciousness extends to using biofuels, minimising packaging and ensuring their delivery strategies are as efficient as possible.
Part of the award-winning Kitchen Garden family, Wolfy's make deliciously creamy and perfectly portable porridge pots.
All of the ingredients in Wolfy's porridge are completely natural and contain no artificial anything. They blend their porridge with great care in an artisan kitchen and most of their pots come with a hidden little pot of honey, jam, marmalade or maple syrup. Their jam is made in small batches by their sister brand, Kitchen Garden who really know how to make a pot of jam!
Wolfy's care a lot about the environment and ensure all of their packaging is made from recyclable, compostable or reusable materials. Some of their porridge pots are certified organic and they source their ingredients as locally as possible.
Yum Yum Fine Foods
Yum Yum Fine Foods are a seasonal bakery and chocolatier from Gloucestershire who operates for the Christmas period. They make a range of festive chocolate treats, Christmas puddings and cakes, all handmade to order at the end of the summer, giving them time to mature for Christmas.
Ingredients for the products are sourced locally, with their flour milled in Gloucestershire and free range eggs sourced from the Cotswolds. The fruits for their products are mainly sourced from their own gardens or local market gardens nearby. They preserve ingredients to avoid wastage too.
Their environmentally conscious nature runs through everything they do. No additives are used and only natural preservatives go into their food. They use only the best Fairtrade and organic products.
We want to reconnect people with good practice in food production and actively promote positive change towards a future where wildlife-friendly food is the favoured option for the majority.