Summary & Outcomes
The aim of this project was to develop a Wild Purbeck venison brand and help create food and drink business opportunities that contribute to the conservation and enhancement of WPNIA landscape and wildlife.
Work focused on supporting local community groups planning local food festivals with a venison theme. One of these was the Church Knowle food festival, which highlighted local produce and raised awareness of venison and its availability in Purbeck. The other was the Dorset food and venison festival, themed around venison and education around the impact of deer on habitats.
Dorset Food and Drink is attracting membership from hotels, restaurants and cafes as well as producers, and building links between the two. There are now 11 Purbeck based members of Dorset Food and Drink
Highlights and challenges
The Dorset AONB investigated resourcing a venison burger / sausage van which would promote venison as a healthy product from a local landscape. However, there were issues regarding state aid so it was not possible to pursue this. A highlight has been the number of people attending the Church Knowle food festival with over 1000 people attending and the Venison & Food Festival at Upton was attended by over 2500 people.
Future work may include the development of a joint bid to the Rural Development Programme, and linking organisations in a more coherent way to co-ordinate deer management plans and culling. Equipment and training is being investigated to aid a more accurate estimation of current deer numbers.