Our producers love going back to school to help with eggucation! This summer they ensured the primary schoool pupils managed to land their egg astronauts at UCC Science Day. A record number of egg astronauts landed safely at Ullswater Community College (UCC) in Penrith this month – thanks to the careful preparation of parachutes and space capsules by primary school pupils from across Eden. The activity was part of the UCC Science Day Taster sessions which help primary school pupils get to know more about secondary school. Key ingredients for the experiments include eggs and parachutes which were provided by The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) and the Penrith Sainsbury’s store.
Around 370 Year 5 pupils from primary schools around Eden took part in the Science Taster days which give the youngsters chance to discover more about science and the school labs. Whilst the school hopes to encourage future applications for secondary school places, one of the key aims is to ignite a passion for science and exploring new ideas.
Science sessions included identifying ‘DNA’ in strawberries and creating a prototype shuttle that lands a scientist back to earth. The experiments use eggs to replicate an astronaut who is travelling home using a shuttle. Teams built their shuttles and used the parachutes in a test landing from the school balcony.
Head of Key Stage 3 Science and UCC Science Teacher Alex Ford, who organises the event, said “The egg astronaut topic is always a firm favourite with staff and pupils. This is the third time we have worked with The Lakes Free Range Egg Company and Sainsbury’s. They are very enthusiastic, coming along, getting involved with the project and making their own space capsule. We really appreciate their support and are grateful to The Lakes for providing us with a regular supply of free range eggs. Each year we assess the merits of the experiments and egg astronaut feedback is always fantastic so we’ve no plans to change it.”
Helen Brass from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We love to see young people inspired to learn new things and have chance to talk to them about eggs. This year we took part in the Science Taster on the same day as pupils from North Lakes Primary School, they were very passionate about their experiment and came up with some creative team names relating to eggs including The Yolkers and Team Chicken.
“Opportunities to spend time with local primary and secondary schools are important to ensure youngsters understand where their food comes from and this is the second time we’ve collaborated with Sainsbury’s on activity with North Lakes School.
“Last month a survey by the British Nutritional Foundation revealed some alarming answers from children aged 14 – 16 where 6% thought dairy cows produced eggs. Fortunately, living in a rural area, most children we speak to do know chickens lay eggs!”
Joining Helen Brass to take part at the Science Taster Day were Sarah Swan and Sue Sharman from Sainsbury’s. Together the trio formed ‘Team Lakesbury’s’ building an astronaut capsule which successfully landed intact. Sarah and Sue said “It was great to see the children really connect with the experiment. They had a wide choice of materials to work with, aiming to use as little as little as possible but still being able to successfully land their capsule without breaking their astronaut. Most eggs landed without a crack. This Taster Day is excellent as it gives children chance to build confidence about secondary school, learn about eggs and a key recycling message too.”
In an action packed week-long event, a total of 27 primary schools took part in the Science Taster Days.
The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) has just held their national awards ceremony at Drapers Hall in London, playing host to leading ecologists, environmental specialists and a select group of shortlisted finalists which included The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes).
Speaker at the ceremony was Baroness Young, Chair of The Woodland Trust who discussed implications of Brexit on UK wildlife law. She also highlighted the benefits that trees bring to the environment before presenting the CIEEM Corporate Achievement Award to The Lakes Free Range Egg Company.
The Lakes won the award in recognition of the wide reaching benefits their innovative tree planting schemes have brought to the natural environment, influencing their industry to plant more trees for the improved welfare for over 19.5 million hens, and for their continued development and research into maturing schemes with the Woodland Trust.
The Lakes case study featured in the award programme. It highlighted that over 150,000 trees have been planted over 600 acres of hen ranges, encouraging free range hens to roam further as well as enticing indigenous and often endangered wildlife to return to farms – these include species like Pipistrelle Bats, Barn Owls and Red Squirrels. One of the key features of the case study is The Lakes long term commitment to planting and research.
The Lakes is three years into a Woodland Trust five year extended ecological survey, aiming to identify the best way forward for future range planting strategies. This extended project is being organised by Paul Arkle, Farm Environmental Advisor with Cumbria Farm Environment Partnership (CFEP) who nominated The Lakes for the award. Paul has been working and supporting The Lakes on tree planting and range enrichment for the last twenty years, formerly with FWAG and now with CFEP.
Paul Arkle said “David and Helen have been very committed to range enrichment from day one and that dedication has reaped dividends, but not just for enriching the landscape and improved animal welfare. With two decades of experience, there’s a vital legacy of schemes at different stages, this is helping us gain a greater understanding of how schemes mature over time and how the flora and fauna develop.
“This Woodland Trust survey is only possible because of the long term working relationship our advisors have with The Lakes and their producers and results so far are very promising. Independent audits highlight 28 different bird species per farm (up to 38 in summer); six of these are species on the Red List (Tree Sparrow, Song Thrush, Lesser Redpoll, Yellow Hammer, Linnet and Starling). Half the farms now see Barn Owls and other endangered native species like Red Squirrels. Determining the biodiversity value of planting and developing ranges highlights the sustainability benefits, and others are already following in our planting footsteps.”
David and Helen Brass were keen to recognise that winning this award is the result of a strong collaboration and said “Paul Arkle is an integral part of our team – a twenty year collaboration, sharing the same values, supporting our producers and working with our customers and organisations like the Woodland Trust.
“Tree planting schemes on the free range hen ranges have presented some unique challenges, not least because of the strong foraging instinct and general curiosity of the hens! As well as better animal welfare there are other, very real and practical benefits for any free range egg producer. Trees planted around the hen sheds intercept ammonia emissions and particulates – helping to protect sensitive sites like nearby semi-natural woodland. They also help reduce nutrient runoff from the hen ranges and help to protect the water quality of streams and rivers.
“A farm without trees would be a poorer place. If I have to give any advice to producers it would be plant more trees, the benefits far outweigh taking part of your land and it makes you feel good to see them grow.”
Our producers at The Lakes Free Range Egg Co were delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Cumbria Horse Trial Events and were particularly pleased to welcome Sophie Johnson and her lovely horse Ernst to the area for the Novice Regional Final at Warwick Hall on 17th June.
Sophie is a close friend of our Sales Director, Bex and travelled with her mum all the way from Nottinghamshire to take part. Sophie took on the ride of Ernst at the end of 2016. At the time he had a reputation for hating ditches, water and anything scary! Through hard work and a different approach Sophie and Ernst are building a bond and earlier this season Sophie took him to Chatsworth where they finished 8th.
The event here at Warwick Hall represented a big step up for Ernst with an Intermediate dressage test, 1.25m show jumping and a very bold XC track to contend with. We are pleased to say he dug deep and jumped his heart out for Sophie with a brilliant double clear to finish 12th in very strong company. Well done Sophie and Ernst and we look forward to welcoming you back here in Cumbria again.
A team of twenty staff and family from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company are flocking to take part in the Gelt Gladiator Challenge – the first ‘mud challenge’ of the year in Cumbria. The Lakes team is raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) which provides free accommodation to families with children receiving treatment in hospital. Ronald McDonald House in Manchester is the closest to The Lakes, so they will be sending all donations to Manchester.
Teams from The Lakes regularly take part in CRUK Race For Life events, but this is the first time staff from right across the factory have joined together for an endurance challenge. The Gelt Gladiator event is in its third year, with 4,500 people and 400 teams having taken part in the past.
The Lakes team is taking part in the Sunday 3K fun event designed for all the family. It includes fifteen obstacles with names that include local landmarks like Hadrian’s Wall, Scafell Pike and Giant Haystacks, as well as more tortuous names like Sink or Swing, Great Balls, Shocker, Ice Plunge and Mud Bomb.
Helen Brass, joint owner of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We’ve supported the Ronald McDonald House Charities for over a decade. They have fourteen ‘houses’ across the country that enable families with children in hospital to stay together in a “home from home”. In May 2012 Ronald McDonald House Manchester opened its doors, supporting families with children receiving treatment in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Neonatal Unit.
“There are 61 en-suite rooms and equipped with things any family would need including lounges, self-catering kitchens, play areas and laundry facilities. Ronald McDonald House Manchester is the nearest to our business and in 2016, the house helped 768 families stay close to their children in hospital. We decided at Christmas that Manchester is where we wanted to focus our fundraising.”
Helen Brass commented “many of our staff have children who are the same age as those affected by the bomb, so raising money for Manchester House is even more poignant. McDonald’s have kindly supplied us with our t-shirts which are currently white, but by the finish line, the team they will be a sea of brown. The event is a great opportunity for us all to get together and make a difference too – bring on the mud.”
The event takes place on Sunday 11th June; anyone wishing to make a donation to The Lakes Team should contact Helen Brass on 01768 890 460.
Our producers at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, are always looking for ways to engage with the younger generation, encouraging them to think about where their food comes from, the benefits of free range eggs and the improved welfare of the hens that lay them.
The approach from programme makers for the BBC Children’s channel CBBC was a perfect opportunity to show how free range egg production works and how it makes a difference.
The Lakes featured in the fifth and final part of a series called Show Me What You’re Made Of. The programme films five children who work alongside people in the UK who make things they rely on in everyday life. This episode visited The Lakes Free Range Egg Company so children could see how free range eggs are produced and packed for the retailer shelves.
The Lakes owners Helen and David Brass worked alongside presenter Stacey Dooley to assess the performance of the children in a series of tasks. The programme began with a first test – which demonstrated to Helen that they could calmly and safely catch a hen.
The children learned that The Lakes have over 135,000 hens in 18 flocks that can wander outdoors and into the shelter of trees, so an obvious second test was to take the children outdoors. The task was to gather in one flock of hens for the evening, returning them to their night time house. The task normally takes two people ½ hour, but it took the 5 children over an hour to complete. They said it was harder than they imagined, but they did get organised in the end.
On day two the children gathered and packed eggs
The next test was to gather eggs that had been freshly laid. The machines were slowed down to help and they managed to gather 2,300 of their target 5,000 eggs.
The final task was to pack egg boxes coming off the factory lines. Again this was quite a challenge but the children did really well, packing the six crates with great speed and efficiency.
Back in the Boardroom, Stacey asked Helen which of the children she would be prepared to employ if they were 18. Helen was pleased to say all would be offered work – even Lucas, who would need extra supervision! Lucas beamed at the news.
The award for star employee went to Maddie – it was the first time she has received promotion during the series and Helen chose her because “she had come furthest on the journey.”
All the children found their visit of great interest and Tom commented “I’m going to open an egg with more passion next time!”
Parents were interviewed about how their children had changed and Lucas’ parents said they felt he had become more responsible and caring, other parents had similar comments.
David and Helen Brass who own The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We were pleased to be able to highlight free range egg production to such a young audience. CBBC’s core audience is primary school children aged 6 to 12-years-old and the beauty of a TV program like this is that if you miss it, you can watch it again on Catch Up or on the CBBC You Tube page. Around a quarter of their viewers watch programs on line at a later date – that’s huge.
“We spend time in our local primary schools, but Show Me What You’re Made Of enabled us to hit a much wider audience. Our schools are rural, so most have an understanding where food comes from, but Show Me What You’re Made Of will be watched by thousands of children from towns and cities, many of whom don’t really know the field to fork story.
“We really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot from the questions the youngsters asked. The fact that they went home and appreciated how much effort goes into getting their breakfast eggs on the table is also very rewarding.”
Four intrepid women are tourning the UK to raise money for Cancer Reseach UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. They’re travelling 1100 miles in 16 days in two Tuk Tuks (motorised three-wheeled rickshaws). Now if you’ve ever seen one, you’ll know they’re not very fast and there’s not much protection against the elements. We’re powering these fab four by making sure they have eggs for breakfast every day.
We’ve been following their progress as they ‘nipped’ up to Edinburgh, before heading south, stopping off to visit cancer centres and hospitals on a route that will take them around Scotland, England and into Wales. We’re proud to support them in their quest to raise £100,000 – and at around £80,000 so far, they’re well on their way. If you’d like to support their journey with a donation, visit the Beijing Biddies website.
We’re tickled pink! Healthy egg sales are helping in the fight against cancer, thanks to money donated from our ‘pink’ laid With Love® brand of eggs. Tesco shoppers putting Laid With Love® eggs into their trollies are helping raise a healthy sum for cancer research – the latest donation of £4,000 has been handed over to Cancer Research UK.
Laid with Love® free-range eggs from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company at Stainton, were originally launched in Cumbrian Tesco stores and have since been rolled out to a growing number of Tesco stores across the North West. The brand pledges to donate 2p per dozen to cancer research and the late st cheque for £4,000 was presented to Cancer Research UK at the Tesco Carlisle store.
Tesco Carlisle Store Manager Phil Pearson has always been a keen advocate of this egg brand, supporting it from the earliest launch days; Phil said “Laid With Love is a fantastic product; the eggs are produced locally, have a great taste and puts raising money for cancer research firmly on our shelves. Our staff is very much behind supporting cancer research too and we always see the Laid With Love team at the Cancer Research UK Race for Life.”
The Laid With Love® brand was created by The Lakes Free Range Egg Company at Stainton near Penrith; they work with local producers in and around Cumbria. The hens are fed on an enriched diet that includes Lutein (a Marigold extract), which is a natural anti-oxidant; research indicates positive health benefits of Lutein – fighting everything from cancer prevention to eyesight problems and aging.
David Brass Chief Executive at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We wanted to develop a brand that delivers on lots of levels, from ensuring the best ethical and environmental provenance to creating a really healthy, tasty egg, and going even further by supporting cancer research. Eggs have become a ‘superfood’, part of our everyday healthy diet – that means over 34 million eggs are now eaten each day. It’s very encouraging for Laid With Love because people are more likely to switch to a brand that donates to charity.”
The balance of donations to Cancer Research UK collected from the Tesco sales has grown again – this latest cheque takes the Tesco/Laid With Love® donation balance to £7,500.
Natasha Patel, Local Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK said “We would like to say a huge thank you to Laid With Love for their generous donation of £4,000, which will contribute towards our vital research that is helping to beat cancer sooner.”
Picture: Cancer Research UK Cumbrian representatives (Liz Tinkler, Helen Stobart and Edwina Sorkin) receive the £4,000 donation from Tesco Rosehill Store team Phil Pearson (Manager) and Kelly Crombie, with Helen Brass – Company Secretary of The Lakes Free Range Egg Co who produce the Laid With Love® eggs.
Commenting David Brass, Chief Executive Officer at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said: “As a family led business, to be shortlisted for Environmental Leadership alongside Blue Chip organisations like British Sugar, Siemens, The National Grid, Anglian Water Services and Wm Morrison’s is a huge achievement in itself.
“Our story began twenty years ago when, from day one, we planted trees to improve our hen ranges. We’ve always believed that excellence in animal welfare and environmental best practice go hand in hand, it’s something our free range hens demonstrate every day.
“Since then we have worked in partnership with customers like McDonald’s to scientifically prove planting trees is beneficial to hen welfare and we’ve influenced others to follow the same best practice. As well as enhancing our environment, our sustainability model also includes investment in technologies and processes to cut our carbon footprint. We’re proud to lead by example on the three E’s (ethical, environmental and economic), promoting a holistic approach to sustainability that has helped cut our carbon footprint to zero. It’s also something we’re keen to promote to the public on the packaging of our two brands – ‘The Lakes’ and ‘Laid With Love’.”
Chief Executive of Business in the Community, Amanda Mackenzie, said: “We want all businesses to be a force for good in the community, and being shortlisted means that The Lakes Free Range Egg Company can inspire many more companies to be part of the responsible business movement, so that together we can work for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”
The winners of all ten categories, including the Responsible Business of the Year will be announced at the Responsible Business Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 July, in front of 1,200 business leaders. The headline sponsors of the 2017 Responsible Business Awards are Experian, Unilever, UPS, Aviva, Barclays, Fujistu, UBS, Unipart Group.
To find out more about Responsible Business Week 2017 visit www.bitc.org.uk/rbweek or search for the hashtag #RBweek.
Helen Campion, Events Manager at the Rheged Centre said “It’s lovely working with local companies like The Lakes Free Range Egg Company; we couldn’t run an event like this without such a strong partnership. Chicks hatching is something most people don’t get to see – myself included and it’s quite mesmerising to watch. We have thousands of people passing through the centre at Easter, the chick hatching is a really big draw, we see visitors coming time and time again to check on the chick progress. “
The Lakes Free Range Egg Company is based just down the road at Stainton, where they produce and pack around 1 million free range eggs every week. Keen to ensure they have the strongest, healthiest hens; The Lakes rear most of their own free range egg producing flocks, making them the ideal partner for the Rheged Centre.
The Lakes has won awards for animal welfare and environmental provenance and is always keen to promote their ethos to the public. David Brass, Chief Executive at The Lakes said “The Rheged Centre attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and they’re just across the road, so it makes them an ideal partner to help explain the sustainable food chain. The hatching unit is a great showcase opportunity for the public to find out what chick rearing and egg production is all about – perfect at Easter. And if it inspires more people to buy free range eggs, that’s a bonus.”
Last Easter the Rheged Centre had around twenty thousand visitors; numbers are likely to be just as high this year, with many more children expected to flock upstairs to see the chicks before the exhibit closes on 23rd April.