Bruce Paterson of the Worstead Estate tells us all about Worstead Wagyu
Article published in Feast Norfolk Magazine
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the youngest of three brothers who manage Worstead Estate in North Norfolk. Worstead Estate is a beautiful, 2000-acre, countryside retreat. It is made up of three Georgian holiday cottages, a new wedding venue called The Woodyard, and a working farm, the first in Norfolk to rear and sell premium wagyu beef.
When and how did the business start?
Whilst the farm has been around since before the 16th century, the estate has been in our family since the 1930s. Dairy cows were initially central to our family’s farming, and in 1970 our father was presented with the supreme trophy of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers by Princess Alexandra. We sold the last dairy herd in 2016 and utilised the buildings and pastures for our wagyu herd.
Tell us a little bit about what you offer
We offer premium wagyu beef for online purchase, in a variety of boxes to suit every occasion; from the brand new Taster Box which is an intro to wagyu beef or for those with a smaller freezer, through to the BBQ box for this Summer season and the Farmers’ Choice for some unique cuts of beef.
What is special about the taste of your beef?
Wagyu is generally considered the best tasting beef in the world. The abundance of marbling in wagyu cattle is from intramuscular fat, which leads to a rich, buttery, almost melt-in-your-mouth flavour and texture. We concentrate on three key areas: quality and length of life, carbon efficiency and of course, quality of the meat.
How do we buy your beef?
You can purchase our beef from our website
We can also provide those that book our wedding venue and holiday lets with our produce to make sure that they have an experience to remember!
Any future plans you can share with us?
Aside from raising the bar for cattle rearing and quality, we’d like to increase production of other livestock with the same ecological focus, including lamb, pork and chicken. We’d also like to host monthly workshop events for the public to come and learn about the project, the wagyu cattle and, of course, have a taste.
How green is your business?
We practise regenerative holistic grazing management, meaning we put more carbon back into the soil and limit the impact of our carbon footprint wherever possible. This is done in many ways like rotational grazing, diverse herbal leys, and the utilisation of by-products from the rest of the food system. Being a generational business, we always endeavour to leave the land in a better state, and hope that our sustainable production enterprises will last far beyond our lifetimes. Our packaging is recyclable and/or compostable and the storage can run from solar panels.
How has Proudly Norfolk been able to help you?
Proudly Norfolk has been hugely helpful in championing our business. It really feels like a community that supports each other and we’re happy to be a part of it.