A HEREFORD farm which specialises in mutton production is to make its small screen debut this weekend.

David and Helen Pickersgill welcomed camera crews from BBC Countryfile to their farm, Weobley Ash, in Stansbatch, for a special programme on wool and mutton production.

The field to fork piece shows Mrs Pickersgill being interviewed by presenter Anita Rani in the field with the sheep, describing what mutton is and how the farm produces it. The piece then moves to the butchery where Mr Pickersgill is filmed cutting and preparing mutton.

The final piece was shot at the Riverside Restaurant at Aymestrey where chef, Andy Link, is filmed cooking the meat.

The couple, who both previously worked in the corporate industry, bought their first 26 in-lamb pedigree Lleyn ewes – a breed selected due to its easy management and slightly smaller stature than more commercial breeds – in 2008 for lambing the following year.

But tragedy struck in 2009 when an infra-red lamp caught fire, burning down the barn and resulting in the deaths of one ewe and five lambs.

"From then on, things have got much better. Initially we were able to sell some lamb, but it was almost exclusively to friends and family – attracting new business was tricky as lamb was available everywhere else," the couple said.

A customer who bought eggs introduced the idea of mutton.

"We didn’t do mutton and had a common prejudice to the idea. And he only wanted a half leg. But we thought we’d give it a go. So we knew about grass-fed, and we knew that hanging the meat made a big difference too. With our own chiller we were able to hang the mutton for 14 days. And the result was outstanding," said Mrs Pickersgill.

The farm now sells lamb, hogget and mutton, working with a friend, Stuart Morris from Clyro, who breeds Lleyn stock, taking his ewes at the end of their breeding life.

"Any stock that is bought in will be kept for around six months so that I can in absolute confidence say that I know how it has been kept and how it has been fed," said Mrs Pickersgill.

"This gives us the confidence to know that our mutton is the best."

For two years, the farm has supplied chef Andy Link at The Riverside Inn, at Aymestrey, and more recently has started to supply a number of other restaurants with hogget and mutton.

See Weobley Ash and the story of their mutton on BBC Countryfile on Sunday (August 2) at 7pm.