Sussex Grazed is Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s meat box scheme sourcing high quality, grass-fed beef and lamb from the Sussex Downs. It is an initiative for Changing Chalk – a National Trust project aiming to restore and reconnect chalk grassland habitats.
Photo credit: Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
Historic use of the South Downs for sheep pasture has created huge areas of internationally significant chalk grassland, but its condition is declining. It can however be restored by responsible grazing, which supports biodiversity and feeds local people.
Grazing animals keep scrubby vegetation under control, providing space for a range of chalk grassland flowers, including Round Head Rampion (or ‘Pride of Sussex’), Birdsfoot Trefoil and orchids. The chalk grassland habitat supports spectacular Chalk Hill and Adonis Blue butterflies, as well as the rare Wart Biter Cricket.
Sussex Grazed works with farmers who responsibly manage their grazing animals and respect the chalk grassland habitat. The scheme pays farmers a fair price for their sustainably produced, ethically reared meat. It also provides a local route to market through the Open Food Network online platform, which supports transparent local food systems.
By selling pre-ordered meat boxes through the Open Food Network, Sussex Grazed can let the farmers know in advance how many animals are needed, so reducing waste. Customers collect their meat boxes from one of the Open Food Network’s hubs in the South Downs where they can appreciate the landscape which their purchase supports.
To buy a meat box and support local farmers and grassland restoration visit the Sussex Grazed online store.
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s blog on Sussex Grazed: www.cpresussex.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2023/10/Sussex-Grazed-1.pdf