Salt marsh lamb: the Welsh delicacy coming into season this May/June

Welsh butcher Hugh Phillips, which is also the only butcher on Swansea’s famous indoor market to have its own abattoir and totally traceable produce with PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status, is getting ready for its first deliveries of Gower salt marsh lamb in May/June this year.

A hugely sought after Welsh delicacy, Gower salt marsh lamb is reared on the salt marshes that edge the northern side of the Gower Peninsular, which lies just west of Swansea.

Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers has a special agreement with salt marsh lamb producer Weobley Castle Farm, which sends its lamb to Hugh Phillips owner Catherine Butler to be processed.

About 50 lambs go to Hugh Phillips every year. Will Pritchard, who runs Weobley Castle Farm with his father Roland and his brother Dan, explains his choice:

“Sending our lambs to Cath ensures low food miles – she’s located just the other end of the marsh so it’s the perfect choice, and we have been dealing with Cath and her father since we started 13 years ago.”

A highly selective family-run abattoir and butcher, Hugh Phillips only handles the best meat, and salt marsh lamb is one of its most sought-after products.

“It’s very popular, and with good reason, because it is delicious,” says Hugh Phillips owner Catherine Butler. “The meat is very tender and has a distinctive flavour that comes from grazing the sheep on the samphire, sorrel, sea lavender and thrift of the Gower salt marshes.

“Customers eagerly await it every year – it becomes available around the end of May or the beginning of June and is available until the end of November to the middle of December.”