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Droving History

In the space and solitude of the traditional crofting counties of the Scottish Highlands and islands there are cattle of the native Scottish Highland breed that are still reared in a way all caring and environmentally conscious consumers wish them to be. This is carried across in our Highland beef.

The unselective grazing and foraging habits of Highland Cattle are acknowledged by conservation authorities to enhance the flora on hill ground and therefore improve the habitat for wildlife. They are reared outdoors all year round without prophylactic chemicals or intensive practices in a gentle and extensive manner. Because they are reared in this manner, this Highland beef is an incredible gourmet experience.

Every spring for centuries the hardy Highland Drovers would start their long and arduous journey from the far northern counties of Scotland with their droves of cattle to the south and its markets. They also came from the Hebridean islands and the westerly counties sometimes swimming between the small in-land islands to the main land, small ketches or kyloes were used to transport the cattle from the outer islands.

They would travel ten or twelve miles each day resting from time to time for the cattle to feed on the lush grasslands then off again until dusk when they would camp out ovenight ready for the following day's journey.

With the cattle gathering in strength and numbers they would wend their way on the long journey, until autumn made the high passes and rivers impassable, these droves of cattle defied the rugged terrain, the mountains and swollen torrents as they wound their way down to the huge trysts held at Crieff and Falkirk.

The export of these hardy and indomitable cattle was the lifeblood of the nation for over four hundred years.