MEMBERS of the Dexter Cattle NI Group were warmly welcomed to Finnebrogue Woods, just outside Downpatrick, on
Saturday, August 14, by kind invitation of the Lindsay family. The family has farmed part of the Finnebrogue Estate for over 60 years, developing the mixture of grassland, forestry and lake into a number of very successful enterprises.
Set within the historic Finne-brogue estate, against a backdrop of mature woodlands, sits a 30 acre lake, making the perfect venue for outdoor weddings and film locations. Ed Lindsay, who for many years has run the Magnakata company, delivering custom-made, Nordic style tipi’s all over Ireland, has recently joined forces with his sister Laura in introducing a wedding facility to the estate. Laura also runs an on-site café, ‘fodder’ using the family’s own herd of pedigree Dexter cattle on its menu and selling prime cuts through the farm shop.
Gathering on a sunny Saturday morning at the family’s ‘Tipi Kitchen’ in the heart of the estate, members were treated to tea and coffee and homemade sweat treats whilst given an introductory talk on the Finnebrogue estate by Nick Lindsay, before setting off to view the family’s herd of over 100 pedigree Dexter cattle.
The first stop on the walk visited the steers which provided beef to the Fodder café, farm shop and wedding events. Cattle on display looked very content, grazing lush swards with many ready to beef in the coming months. Nick discussed the family’s policy of producing pure grass-fed beef receiving no concentrate feeding and wintered on silage in the estate’s woodlands.
Moving on to the breeding herd, it featured around 50 head of cows, calves and a fine stock bull, and consisted of all three breed colours – black, red and dun. Such a large herd of quality animals grazing peacefully between mat-ures trees was a fantastic sight to see.
The final stop was to a large group of heifers, which due to the demand were destined for the family’s farm shop and café. At this point Nick discussed plans for future development of the herd, tying in with the estate’s ethos of sustainable farming.
Afterwards the group headed back to the Tipi Kitchen where Ed Lindsay had cooked up a delicious lunch of Dexter burgers which were very well received by members. A collection for the NI Air Ambulance on behalf of the Lindsay family took place, raising £250 for this very worthwhile charity.
The NI Dexter Group would again like to thank the Lindsay family for hosting a very enjoyable farm walk and wishes them all the best in the future.
A reminder to members that the NI Dexter Cattle Group is hosting its AGM at Tannaghmore Animal Farm, Lurgan, on Saturday, September 4, at 10am. Invitation is open to new members and those interested in learning more about the breed in Northern Ireland.