A YOUNG farmer from County Durham is urging younger shoppers to put lamb on their plates.

Thomas Vickers, 23, an upland sheep farmer from Tow Law, is one of 12 young farmers and shepherds championing Love Lamb Week which runs from September 1 to September 7.

Over the past 15 years, fewer people have been regularly eating lamb, and with those aged 55 years and over making up the lion’s share of the market, time is ticking for lamb.

Mr Vickers, a National Sheep Association (NSA) Next Generation Ambassador, said: “We want to make sure that delicious lamb isn’t on its last leg with young consumers.

“Whether grazing our moorlands, maintaining our marshlands or looking after our lowlands, sheep are very much a part of our British identity.

“The different landscapes in which sheep are raised means that almost every time you buy lamb, you’re buying an artisan product packed with flavour and nourishment.”

Retailers, restauranteurs and butchers are also reminding consumers how lovely lamb is to cook and eat.

Chef Chris Wheeler said: “Lamb is one of the tastiest and flavoursome sources of protein and iron. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, adding a British touch to a middle-eastern dish, starring as a tasty burger or bringing balance to a spicy curry.

“It’s much more than a Sunday roast or an Easter treat. Lamb can be part of the menu any day of the week.”

Love Lamb Week is organised by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the National Sheep Association, and supported by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

AHDB has this year formed a Love Lamb Week partnership with parenting advice website, Mumsnet.

Nick White, AHDB lamb marketer, said: “Many families go into auto-pilot mode when shopping for food, buying the same ingredients, so the thought of trying something different can feel daunting – particularly when time and money is tight.

“We’d like to give mums and dads the confidence to cook lamb using leg steaks as an easy introduction.

“They are low fat, relatively low price and can be cooked in less than 15 minutes, with advice from Mumsnet and recipes on Simply Beef and Lamb website, families can feed their flock with an easy and nutritious meal.”

The Simply Beef and Lamb Facebook and Instagram feeds will be highlighting simple recipes including the lamb leg steak with herb and paprika rub and a spin on the classic Lamb Caesar Salad.

Visit Simplybeefandlamb.co.uk for more information. Recipe videos can be downloaded from bit.ly/llwcontent.