Jan de Boer has been raising sheep in the beautiful ‘De Wieden” national park for decades. The national park is located near the village of Wanneperveen in the north of the province of Overijssel. It is one of the most beautiful nature areas in the Netherlands. The extensive fenland is home to a great variety of plants and animals. Natuurmonumenten, the Dutch society for the preservation of nature, owns about 5,000 hectares of the Wieden. The area is managed by sheep. At one point it was in danger of being overgrown by moss and grasses and the most practical solution was to have sheep graze the fenland. Meadow birds flourish in the tranquillity of the park. Access is by boat only; there are few roads to disturb the peace and quiet. Thanks to these peaceful and spacious conditions, it’s no surprise that De Wieden is perfect for sheep farming.
The flock is made up of about 500 ewes, who bear some 1,000 lambs every year. As there are far too many to keep the herd at a sustainable level, lambs are taken to slaughter every year. The Wieden lamb is a cross between a Texel sheep (2/3) and a Flevoland sheep (1/3). It enjoys a guaranteed excellent quality of life. The lamb has a very good ratio of meat to fat, a delicious tender taste and a fine structure. And it’s all thanks to the environment in which they live and their natural diet.
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