Growing demand for easy fleshing, milky beef cattle has seen the introduction of a new Lincoln herd to Scotland, with Balcaskie Estate, Anstruther, Fife, establishing a substantial unit of pure-breds.

Having purchased the reserve champion Lincoln Red at the Stirling Bull sales in February, followed by another two Lincoln bulls from Andrew Mylius' St Fort herd in Fife, the decision was made to buy into the breed.

Estate manager Sam Parsons explains: “Taking the decision to convert the farm into organic status in 2106, we reviewed the future of the suckler beef enterprise. Feeding organic cereals to beef cattle makes little financial sense and as a result we decided to introduce more native breeding into the herd with a preference for the less 'improved' bloodlines to make best use of grass. Having purchased three tremendous Lincoln Red bulls we decided that a herd of Lincoln Reds would meet our demands and future policies perfectly."

Following several trips to Lincolnshire to get a better overview of the breed and having visited Mr Mylius' St Fort herd several times, it was concluded that the permanent and rotational pastures at Balcaskie, combined with the aim to run a native breed – gradually replacing the Sim Luings with a breed that met all our requirements in terms of quality, docility and performance – would be achieved with the introduction of Lincoln Reds.

With the decision to breed pedigree animals, foundation females were bought from St Fort a long with several other major Lincoln Red herds to include: H and H Needler's Walmer herd; M Read's Hemingby herd; G Bolton's Wragby herd; G Parkinson, Donington; P Begin, Tapus and D and L Shaw's Paddworth Park herd.

David Evans' small herd from west Wales was also purchased on his decision to retire.

The herd now comprises of around 80 plus breeding females of a mixture of ages.

"Our policy will be to use a number of original population bulls and try and acquire original population females as and when they become available. We believe that the 'native' type of Lincoln Red suits our land and our desire to produce a very special product,” said Mr Parsons.

This new herd of Lincoln Reds at Balcaskie, along with another established by Messrs Anderson from Stanley, Perth, last year, adds to the several others in Scotland to include Mrs Buchan's herd at Auchmacoy near Ellon.

There are also others in Dufftown, Kinross, Biggar, and Coupar Angus, which coupled with the increased commercial demand has seen bulls sell to Inverness, Fort William, Isle of Mull, Orkney, East Lothian , Dunbar and, Port of Mentieth, Cockburnspath, Kelso, Stranraer and Northern Ireland over the past few years.