Chiltern Lamb is owned and run by Tracy Betteridge, known to friends as Bill, but no
one can remember why, not even her! Bill has lived in the Henley area for over 20 years and in the last ten years has run
her own grounds maintenance and gardening business. During this time she has kept a small number of sheep, supplying jointed
whole and half lambs for the freezer. In recent years, through the combination of securing more grazing and having a collie
dog to help her manage larger numbers, she has been able to increase the number of sheep she is able to run and thereby increase
the amount of lamb she is able to offer for sale. Hence, Chiltern Lamb was born.
Bill is originally from Warwickshire, where she grew up on the sheep farm
where her father was shepherd to 600 ewes. From an early age, Bill helped her Dad with the sheep, hand-feeding orphaned lambs
and, later on, helping with all general sheep keeping duties at weekends and during school holidays. Raising sheep is in Bill’s
Bill has extensive
experience in both sheep and horse management and has HNDs in Animal Management, and Thoroughbred Stud and Land Management.
She has been responsible for managing 600 ewes on a 2000 acre farm and run a 600 sow free-range pig unit.
Bill is passionate about the welfare of every one of her sheep
and can recognise every individual of the 230 sheep she currently runs (ewes and lambs). She uses a small abattoir where the
lambs typically wait less than 10 minutes and certainly not more than 30 minutes before going through the system.
Bill believes that we should know where our meat comes from
and that we should eat less, but better quality meat. Her focus is on the preservation of rare breeds of sheep and she
currently had five different breeds – Jacob, Herdwick, Balwen, Badgerface-Torddu and Black Welsh currently producing
meat for sale. She also has Soay, Devon and Cornwall Longwool, KerryHill and Portland and others in small numbers which she
is gradually building on.