Farming roots for free range egg supplier – The Lakes Free Range Egg Company

The history of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company as a free range egg supplier is firmly rooted in farming tradition. Agricultural heritage is something that owners David and Helen Brass are proud of. For generations David’s family has had a rich history of livestock farming, moving to farm in Cumbria in the 1870’s and finally settling at Meg Bank, Stainton near Penrith in 1935. The farm was a traditional dairy, beef and sheep farm.

David Brass Haybobbing 1972

David feeding pet lamb with father

David Brass haybob

After studying at university, David joined the Royal Air Force and enjoyed a career as a pilot before returning to his farming homeland in 1989. With his wife Helen, they took over the running of the family farm, which, like many, was seeing farm income squeezed.

David and Helen are livestock and land managers with a passion for animal welfare and environmental excellence. They have spent a quarter of a century refining their farm operation.

“Since day one we have followed a belief that environmental provenance and animal welfare go hand in hand and can create commercially viable, sustainable family farms.”

Helen Brass

The first foray into free-range hens was made by Helen who began with 200 Shaver hens on 40 acres of farm. This marked the beginning of their commercial free range egg production and the start of their range enrichment, with tree and hedgerow planting.

As expanding free range egg suppliers, David and Helen set up the Lakes Free Range Egg Co Ltd (The Lakes), in 1997.

Our aim: To profitably supply free range and organic shell egg, packed to the highest standards and adhering to leading animal welfare, ethical and environmental principles.

As industry pioneers, ‘The Lakes’ took on a packing station and capitalised on the rich abundance of animal husbandry skills in the area, encouraging other local farmers to supply free range eggs to the egg packing facilities.

As innovators, ‘The Lakes’ was first to ‘enrich’ ranges with tree planting and remains the only packer ensuring all producers have biodiversity action plans.

Our environmental and animal welfare principals and quality production enabled us to secure customers like McDonald’s. That was over a decade ago and we are proud still to be working closely with them today.

Continuing to expand, we built new, state of the art facilities that have a very low carbon footprint which helped attract new retail customers who share the same principles – including Booths, Sainsbury’s. and Tesco.

David and Helen Brass with their Children

David and Helen Brass