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Andrew Hattan at milking

Farmhouse cheesemaker opens doors

Monday 2 October, 2023, by News Release

A walk to the only farm in the world milking Northern Dairy Shorthorns is one of more than thirty events to be held next weekend during the 2023 Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival, Celebrating Local Produce

Low Riggs farm in Upper Nidderdale will be offering people a taste of ‘Stonebeck’, the first raw milk Wensleydale cheese to be made on a farm in more than 60 years. Sally and Andrew Hattan will make four tonnes of Stonebeck this year at a facility in the farm yard, to complete their fourth year of production.

A feature of the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival will be cheesy-themed special menus served up at hotels and cafes, while the full range of local produce is celebrated with events such as the ‘Gin Train’ with Taplin & Mageean and Wensleydale Railway. 

The Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival will take place from Friday to Monday, 6-9 October.  Tickets and information are online.

This year’s festival also sees the launch of ‘A Taste of the Dales’, a map marking the locations of fifty ‘amazing’ local food and drink businesses in and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Sally Hattan, maker of Stonebeck cheese, said: “For me the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival is about giving people the opportunity to come and visit the farm.  This time it felt right to offer a guided walk because then people can see the whole story:  the cows, the meadows, the cheese.”

For quotes from Andrew Hattan, please see our latest blog post, ‘Farmhouse Wensleydale cheeses return after 65-year hiatus’.

Derek Twine, the Member Champion for Promoting Understanding at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, which organises the Cheese Festival as part of its programme of tourism support, said:  “The walk to Low Riggs for a taste of Stonebeck is definitely one of the highlights of this year’s Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival.  Farmhouse cheese making was a great tradition here until the 1950s. Now people such as Andrew and Sally are bringing about a revival, not least because they see it as the way to make their hill farm viable. We are so happy to celebrate once again cheese is being made on farms in the Yorkshire and Westmorland Dales.  And their cheese tastes great, too.

“The support from The Courtyard Dairy cheese shop near Settle, and Townend Farm Shop in Malhamdale, as well as Neal’s Yard Dairy,  has made the revival possible.   These businesses deserve credit alongside the cheese makers for creating one of the most exciting stories in upland farming and in food and drink.”

Mr Twine added: “This year I especially want to highlight the new Taste of the Dales Map It is an all-year-round guide for people looking to find the amazing pubs, coffee shops, ice-cream parlours, and farm-to-table restaurants in and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”

Picture of News Release

News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


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