Bagtor Barton

Dartmoor National Park, Devon

Russell Retallick’s Aberdeen Angus cows from Bagtor Barton spend their lives grazing across hundreds of acres of some of the richest and most diverse habitat in southern England. From his farm house at Bagtor Barton, they move up through the deep peat bogs of Bagtor Newtake, where the distinct trill of curlew is still  heard through the early spring and snipe breed in their dozens. From there they rise up to towards Saddle Tor, where cuckoos can be heard through April and May calling from the hawthorn trees, and over past the iconic bulk of Hay Tor where, as night comes on and the tourists go home, merlin hunt for meadow pipits nesting in the heather and ravens croak from the rocks. The more adventurous of the cows travel on to work their way through Trendlebeer Common, where the scrub grows higher and young rowan and birch trees mark the first stages of natural succession, gradually joining the National Nature reserve of Yarner Woods up with the ancient woodland of Lustleigh Cleave.

As is traditional on Dartmoor, the young stock are sold on in their second summer to be finished on the lusher grass of the lowlands. Russell sells his cattle to Johnny Haimes, who grazes them on diverse pastures among cattle egrets, wagtails and brown hares before selling them to Farm Wilder in their third year.



Aberdeen Angus

One of the world-leading beef cows, the Aberdeen Angus is celebrated for its ability to thrive in varied conditions and environments. It derives from cattle native to the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in north-eastern Scotland.


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