The perfect ingredient: Dales Dairies’ milk
James and Ralph Wellock head for Wharfedale to discover what makes the milk from Archers Farm and Dales Dairies so special.
Anthony Bolland’s family farm – Archers – is on the Duke of Devonshire’s estate in North Yorkshire and produces milk for Dales Dairies.
The farm was passed down to Anthony by his dad and it now has around 150 cows. The cows are Holstein-Friesians which, Anthony explains, is a great combination of breeds. “The cows like it around here and they are hardy. They are outside for about five to six months through the summer, eating grass and go inside in winter. Then they’re on a silage diet, which is a form of preserved grass. So basically they eat the same sort of grass all year round.”
After increasing the size of the herd since inheriting the farm, Anthony has adopted modern techniques for caring for the cows which are milked in a state-of-the-art parlour.
Archers’ cows are equipped with their own pedometers so the farmer can monitor their health and maximise milk production. Anthony explains, “They can tell us if a cow is poorly as it’ll have done less steps – and we’ll know the correct amount of feed to give it in the parlour to help with milk production.”
Once the cows have been milked, the raw milk is transported just down the road to Dales Dairies in Grassington to be processed and packaged. Anthony says, “We’ve worked with Dales Dairies for almost five years. They look after us. They want good milk and that’s what we provide them with. It works very well.”
At the dairy, owner David Oversby shows James and Ralph the ropes. He explains, “There are 21 farms in the local area so we get milk very quickly and the short turnaround keeps it fresh. To process it, we gently heat the milk to 72 degrees and then immediately cool it to less than four degrees – this keeps the natural flavour.”
Dales Dairies produces 22 million litres of milk each year which is largely sold in Yorkshire and is also bought and distributed around the country by Wellocks to its customers. One of these is the Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey.