Cheese in the UK dates back around 2000 years, and yet, the classically British cheese only became more realised in the last two centuries. These cheesemakers are a large part of British culture, and they create some truly amazing products, often using century old traditions passed through generations. It would be a disaster if these methods were to be lost.
The restrictions have been hard for many local cheesemakers, particularly those that produce their own milk.
With less demand but the same volume of milk being produced and the same number of animals to care for, cheesemakers find themselves in an extremely difficult situation. It’s a huge expense that is now out of balance with their sales.
We ask that you consider the above when buying your cheese. We have tried to help by expanding what we offer and reducing the regular price for a few cheesemakers we have highlighted in the next section.
We hope you find a new favourite among these regional classics, featured below.
Berkswell Artisan Ewes Milk Cheese
Produced at Ram Hall Farm, within the small but picturesque village of Berkswell in Warwickshire. The farm has seen to six generations of the Fletcher family, who have worked there since 1881. Stephen Fletcher is currently managing the farm, along with his father, Peter, and son, George.
The cheese is made using milk from their Friesland ewes, all of which are born and bred on the farm.
They process all the milk, produced by their 850 ewes, into the award winning Berkswell Cheese.
The cheesemaking started 50 years ago in the coach yard of the 18th century Sharpham House. Prior to this the Sharpham Estate was bought in 1962 by the Chair of the pioneering Dartington Trust, Maurice Ash and his wife, Ruth. A member of the family, Mark Sharman, took over the dairy production with his partner, Debbie.
To this day, they still hold true to the traditional techniques and environmentally-sound philosophy of Maurice Ash, where the pastures, grass, animals, milk and cheese lead naturally from one another; to the point where it is believed you can taste the lush Devon pastures in the cheese!
Sharpham Dairy is now owned by Greg and Nicky Parsons, who are both hands-on at the Dairy. Their small team of cheesemakers have over 100 years of cheese making experience between them.
Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese
Nestled just on the outskirts of Goosnargh Village looking out over Beacon Fell. The Kirkham family has resided at Beesley Farm for just over 70 years. John Kirkham moved here with his family when he was a baby. The first cheese was made here by Ruth (Mrs Kirkham) in September 1978 and is still being made on the farm today. The business is now run by Ruth and John’s son, Graham, with the help of his partner Kellie and their sons’, Shaun and Mike, as well as a handful of great staff.
This award-winning raw cow’s milk cheese is made by hand to the same recipe used by Graham’s Mother and Grandmother and is made 7 days a week using only the milk from their own herd of Holstein Friesian cows.
The Berkswell has a natural and slightly chewy rind, with a texture that is firm, dense and slightly granular. It has a very complex flavour that is enticingly sweet. Notes of pineapple and caramel.
Winner of Supreme Champion at the 2017 Artisan Cheese Awards.
Handmade following the recipe that has been with Sharpham since 1981. Mould ripened, firm, rich, and creamy when young, softening with notes of mushrooms and a chicory finish when aged.
Winner of a gold medal at the 2019 Food & Drink Devon Awards
Firm, flinty texture with a mellow, yet complex, flavour featuring hints of lemon and herbs. Excellent when melted, or when crumbled into a salad.
Winner of ‘Gold’ at the 2017 Devon County Show.
Mrs Kirkham’s Mild & Creamy Lancashire
Signature buttery crumble, the taste starts off slightly lactic, but mellows into a creamy, buttery flavour.
Mrs Kirkham’s Tasty Lancashire
Best known for its inimitable crumbly, yet creamy, texture, this raw milk farmhouse Lancashire boasts a bright, full flavour finished off by a light tang of yoghurt.
Winner of ‘Gold’ at the 2018 World Cheese Awards.
Mrs Kirkham’s Smoky Lancashire
The mild and creamy Lancashire, cold smoked over oak and beech wood.