With a rich history in livestock farming, the transition into free range egg production was straightforward. Animal welfare and range enrichment are still core to what we do.

Tree planting is something we have undertaken since we first began free range production, receiving support from bodies including FWAG, RSPB, the Forestry Commission and Friends of the Lake District. It has enabled us to plant over 150,000 trees and repair miles of stone walls.

We have an excellent network of producers. Other fruitful relationships have been developed with like-minded customers, organisations and universities, looking at ways we can improve sustainable production.

Building Stone Wall

Hens and Wall

Animal Research – supporting research conducted by the Food Animal Initiative (FAI) and McDonald’s UK, has shown that planting more trees encourages hens to roam more freely outdoors which in turn reduces the amount of feather pecking in the flock. You can find out more on our Animal Welfare page

Farm Forward programme – Launched by McDonald’s in 2012 Farm Forward is built around core commitments that include animal welfare standards, environmental and efficiency standards and knowledge sharing. We are committed to supporting this programme and are proud to be a McDonald’s ‘Flagship Farm’ and a global case study for their ‘Best of Sustainable Supply’ initiative.

Sainsbury’s Concept Farm Research Project – Much of what we practice is aligned to the Sainsbury’s 20 x 20 Sustainability Plan so we were delighted when Sainsbury’s became a customer in 2013. Since then we have joined the Sainsbury’s Concept Farm Research Project as their ‘Concept Farm’ for laying birds, developing better welfare for hens and more efficient production for producers. Current research includes projects on tree planting with the Woodland Trust.

Sainsbury’s Concept Farms

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company is proud to be THE ‘Concept Farm’ for laying birds. Sue Lockhart, Head of Agriculture at Sainsbury's explains how Concept Farms work: "The Concept Farm is a totally new, revolutionary way of working to trial new ideas that combine sustainability and improved animal welfare. By sharing our findings, we ensure that our other farmers benefit and have sustainable, cost effective techniques in place for the future, without compromising productivity.” Sainsbury's provide additional funding for the Concept Farm to trial breeding, feeding and husbandry techniques and to pilot new and alternative ways of working.
Learn more

Chick Rearing – ground breaking research and development has led us to build a dark brooding rearing system that uses 90% less energy than standard rearing facilities- find out more on our chick rearing page. Always looking for innovation for our industry, we are working on further developments which include:

Our Farms – we use our Eden flocks for research, testing new feed, rations and management

Poultry Breed research – working with DEFRA/Government and NGO’s on breeds and beak triming

McDonald’s – continued research on animal welfare in conjunction with FAI Food Animal Initiative

In 2014 we won the Farmers Weekly Poultry Farmer of the Year Award, the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) Food Producer of the Year, Business in the Community (BITC)  Sustainable Supply Chain Award, Cumbria Life Outstanding Contribution to Food & Farming Award, Sainsbury’s New Supplier Award and McDonald’s Outstanding Achievement Award.