From the wild west coast to the highest peak in the land, the Outdoor Capital of the UK – Fort William and Lochaber – has long been the perfect habitat for the best in wild Highland Haggis. The diverse mix of the region’s stunning landscapes has provided a rich habitat for the naturally shy creatures; that are known to favour rocky seashores in their infancy before moving on to forage in ancient oak woods in their youth, then taking to the open hillsides and high mountain tops in their prime.
Experts believe that it’s this unique mix of habitats that makes Haggis from Lochaber such a prized delicacy, in high demand year-round throughout the land. Indeed, the annual Highland Haggis Festival takes place in Lochaber in recognition of just how special and tasty the local Haggis is.
Elusive and hard-to-catch creatures, wild Haggis have traditionally only been hunted by expert stalkers in small numbers every January during Haggis Season. However, all that is about to change as the newest member of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, Hamish McSporran, is taking the region’s finest Haggis to the next level with his newly established Outdoor Capital Free-Range Haggis Farm, located at a remote location deep in the heart of the West Highlands.
Hamish McSporran said: “I always knew there was huge potential to introduce our wonderful Lochaber Haggis to a wider audience. However, it has taken me a few years of hard graft to perfect the techniques required to catch these unique animals in large enough numbers at exactly the right time, and to farm them in a sustainable way without affecting how they taste. I’m delighted to announce that my first free-range farmed Outdoor Capital Haggis is every bit as good as wild, and they’re a heck of a lot easier to catch!”
Hamish went on to explain just what makes Outdoor Capital of the UK Haggis the best in the world: “Without giving away all my farming secrets, I believe the early days and weeks that the Haggis spend on the amazing west coast starts them off on their unique journey to flavour perfection. Then it’s the sheer hardiness of the Haggis running free across the mountains that gives it its prized full-bodied taste.
“The Outdoor Capital Haggis roam free over a huge area around the Ben [Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain]. It can’t help but be the true ‘Chieftain o’ the Puddin Race’. Perfecting this unique taste for my farmed stock has taken time and huge amounts of effort but I truly believe I have it.”
With his first herd ready for finishing, Hamish McSporran is excited to be working with Lochaber Larder as the sole producer of Outdoor Capital of the UK Haggis. Hamish added: “Lochaber Larder is a great new company supplying fresh produce to the Lochaber area. Stewart McLachlan has lived here his whole life and is expert at preparing Haggis with a secret blend of spices to bring out their natural best.”
Frazer Coupland, CEO at Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, questioned Hamish on how he managed to get these normally solitary creatures to herd in the way that he does? Hamish smiled and advised: “These fantastic creatures are not that different to the Scots; give them a wee dram in their last few feeds and they soon come together and are definitely a wee bit more passive.”
As a result, those with a discerning palate will appreciate the subtle hint of ‘The Dew of Ben Nevis’ whisky in the farmed Outdoor Capital Haggis!
To celebrate the production of the first ever ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK Haggis’ all members of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce are invited to collect a delicious home-reared and homemade Haggis for free from Lochaber Larder at Blar Mhor Estate, Fort William, from Thursday 01 to Saturday 03 April 2021.
Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: [email protected] | M: +44 (0)7913 951717
Further images, for free use by Iain Ferguson, alba.photos, can be downloaded from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/to6x5dbxf2vyf7e/AAAc_wXlcnezSOzbbYQZ3Ff5a?dl=0
Notes to Editors:
Lochaber Chamber of Commerce
Lochaber Chamber of Commerce is a fully affiliated member of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network, which together represents more than 12,000 businesses throughout Scotland.
Lochaber Chamber represents more than 200 businesses in Lochaber collectively employing 3500+ people across all sectors [c60% 15-64 age working population in Lochaber]. They work locally, nationally and internationally to support business from sole traders to international organisations.
Lochaber Chamber of Commerce is the destination management organisation for Lochaber and promotes the area as a visitor destination under the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ brand. Lochaber is home to an incredibly varied landscape featuring many iconic Highland locations – from the last UK wilderness of Knoydart, to stunning shoreline around Arisaig, Camusdarach Beach, historic Glenfinnan and Glencoe, Ardnamurchan Peninsula, the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis and so much more. It’s the ideal place to experience the outdoors; however you choose to do it. And the ideal place to rear haggis obviously!
Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, 15 High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH | T: 01397 705765
Lochaber Chamber of Commerce website: https://www.lochaberchamber.co.uk
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