AN AWARD-winning farm shop and cafe is now able to offer rare breed pork from pigs reared on the neighbouring pastures.

Simon Hare, who farms at Brignall with his father John, has gradually been establishing a rare breed pig herd. He has sourced organic breeding pigs and has formed a herd of Berkshires, Tamworths, Gloucester Old Spots and Mangalitsa pigs which are crossed with a Sandy & Black boar.

A couple of the pigs were ready prior to Christmas allowing slowcooked rare breed belly pork to be put on the menu at neighbouring Cross Lanes Organic Farm Shop and Cafe beside the A66 on the outskirts of Barnard Castle.

All are raised to organic standards and lead as natural a life as possible, with lots of space to roam and forage.

Grass-fed Beef Shorthorn will also return in February, with a long waiting list of customers.

The meat sold exceptionally well last spring with demand outstripping supply, but as the herd becomes more established more meat will come through this year.

The butchers shop at Cross Lanes is managed by Sandy Dempster and has quickly built regular custom from people looking for quality, locally sourced meat with 100 per cent traceability.

At Cross Lanes, organic meat is sourced from Richard Ward of Cragg Top in Langleydale and from Piercebridge Organic Farm. The additional pork and beef from the Hare family has reduced food miles to virtually zero as their animals are born, reared and finished on the pastures next to Cross Lanes.