ALTHOUGH lamb is a popular spring favourite, shoppers are turning to a new kid on the block.

A rural farm just south of Colchester has reported sales of goat meat have doubled over the past year.

Wick Farm Meats in Church Road, Layer de la Haye, sold out of its goat meat and enjoyed bumper sales of lamb from its farm shop over Easter.

Wick Farm has been in four generations of the Lennox family since 1921. Today, owners Joe Lennox and son Alex rear sheep, cattle and increasingly goats, now totalling 100 to 150 in number.

Farm butcher Peter Todd said goat is growing in popularity because it is a lean meat, loved by the health-conscious.

He added: “The top chefs also promote it in their cooking shows... God bless them. This does us a lot of good.”

Goat meat is good for roasting and stewing and has a strong flavour.

“Sales have doubled over the past year or so. If we had more, we could sell more. It’s got very popular. We sold out over Easter.”

The goats are fed on grass and corn at the farm and are taken to the abattoir at 10 to 12 months.

They form part of the 15,000 goats that end up on British tables every year, despite it being a little dearer than lamb.

Mr Todd said lamb is still the top seller at Easter, with his shop also selling 20 sheep over the holidays. Such lambs are also slaughtered at 10-12 months. Beef killed at 24-to 25 months is another favourite.

He added: “Customers come from all over. Some are from Chelmsford, a lot from West Mersea and we are a popular stop for those visiting nearby Abberton Reservoir.”