Chatsworth Estate Sustainable Beef Farming

15th September 2022
Featured image for Chatsworth Estate Sustainable Beef Farming

Our hotels and inns are always looking to make the best of our local produce, which is why our teams have recently been working on a project to source sustainable beef from Chatsworth farms to all of our hotels in Derbyshire. The main goal of this project is to ensure that each and every cow provided from a Chatsworth farm is wholly utilised as much as is possible, leaving no waste behind.

Our Managing Director Richard Palmer, Farm Manager David Howlett and Executive Chef Adam Harper teamed up to understand the constant waste that can come from cattle farms if livestock is not dealt with correctly and to see how we can play our part in stopping this from happening within our group. And also ensuring we are using sustainable, local produce as much as we can. So each week Adam and David will venture into the Chatsworth fields to hand pick a suitable cow, which will then be brought down to a reliable local butchers and then supplied to The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow, The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley and The Devonshire Arms at Beeley to feature on their menus. Throughout the whole process we want to make sure that we are conquering the constant waste that can come from meat processing, so we will be doing all we can from choosing the right cow to making sure we are utilising all of the animal.

About the cows: where our sustainable beef comes from

We spoke with David to find out a little bit more about the environment and lifestyle the Chatsworth herd have.

''My name is David Howlett, and I am the Farm Manger here at Chatsworth. At Chatsworth we have a native breed of cattle as these tend to suit the environment better, they are much more suited to being grass fed and forage fed, they have free run to eat any berries, crops and other things that are grown on the Estate.

In terms of looking after the cows, we tend to try and keep it as natural as we can. A lot of the time these cattle are not in sheds and instead outside exploring their fields, and we believe this is what makes the best beef possible.

The project to supply whole animals has been a fantastic one to be a part of and one I am passionate about. Some of the problems within the beef supply chain and their wastage can be devastating, and so now being able to utilise the whole animal through the Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants Group is something I am certainly proud to be a part of.''

In the restaurants: serving top-quality beef

We then spoke with Adam about how we are going to bring the meat from farm to plate and apply waste less strategies throughout the group.

''My name is Adam Harper, and I am the Executive Chef for Devonshire Hotels and Inns in Derbyshire. The main focus of this project is that we are now, throughout the Estate and in all of the pubs and restaurants, going to only be using the cattle from the Chatsworth Estate Farm, and the plan is to only use one cow a week. The head chefs and myself across all of our properties in Derbyshire have all developed recipes so that we can utilise every single part of the cow possible, and in lots of different tasty recipes so that there is no waste and we can practice true sustainability.

Of course, there are going to be some small amounts of waste, so everything we do not use such as little bits of cut, we will then supply them to our local pie company for them to use in their delicious pies.

For the dishes that we are putting in all of the hotels, we will make sure we are using five different cuts of the cow, so for example in the pubs we will be using the meat for our own delicious pies, ribs to make barbeque short ribs, as well as bones for stocks and sauces and the tongue for meat.''

By doing all of this, we hope that we can educate our guests in understanding the waste that can result from mass producing meat and maybe even influence them to consider using a less popular cut of meat in their own cooking that they may not necessarily have considered previously to help stop unnecessary waste. We like to think we can prove that not just the prime steak cuts can make the best dishes.

We are proud that our guests can now enjoy locally sourced, sustainable meals, using the whole animal to avoid waste and minimise our carbon footprint. For the future, we will be looking forward to seeing if we can do the same for the lamb that also comes from the Chatsworth Estate.

All from farm to plate, to be able to give you the tastiest dishes.

Sample our beef - Book A Table

We highly recommend that you try out our delicious dishes for yourself at either our Hotel or two inns. To book The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow click here, to book The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley click here, or to book The Devonshire Arms at Beeley click here. Alternatively, you can contact our friendly reservations team on 01756 718 111 or email

Where To Stay

Whilst you are here why not spend a night or three in one of our beautifully appointed rooms, be looked after by our friendly teams and relax in the Derbyshire countryside. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to discover all the history and adventure the Peaks has to offer. Find out more here.

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