Lamb from the UK’s rarest breed of sheep has won the top award during taste testing at the Native Breed Sausage Awards.

In partnership with Jimmy Doherty, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) put the UK’s native breeds to the test with Jimmy’s Native Breed Sausage Awards.

The competition, held at Jimmy’s Festival 2017, saw a huge number of entries being judged and star ratings awarded to 29 different pedigree bred sausages, with each of the entries being blind tasted by a top chef and a variety of food sector expert judges.

Anyone could enter from those who sell native breed sausages to family and friends, through to those who sell at local markets, independent retailers or via online shops.

The competition was a fantastic opportunity to promote rare and native breeds of livestock, and had the backing of the RBST's partners including Jimmy’s Farm, Slow Food UK, the British Pig Association and the British Lop Society.

Following the competition, the three star sausages were judged by a separate expert panel, to crown the overall champion with the three star gold award, with Raskelf Rare and Heritage Breeds Boreray Lamb Sausage scooping the prize.

Also recognised were: Trevaskis Farm British Lop Pork Sausage, The Butchery Ltd Dexter, South Devon, Hereford Beef Sausage and The Primrose Herd Sausage.

Jimmy Doherty, RBST president said: "Judging this competition proved to me that pedigree pork, beef and lamb are the best."

Jon Gay, head chef at Jimmy’s Farm, said: “This is my fourth year of sausage competitions with Jimmy and these were the best so far.”

Shane Holland, chairman of Slow Food UK, said: “A great day was had by all, and the standard of sausages was fantastic.”

And RBST chief executive Tom Beeston added: “The competition was so close, we didn’t have one entry that I wouldn’t be happy to serve to guests at home. It was a great showcase of native pedigree products and I urge the public to ask their local butcher if they have any rare or native breed meat. It may seem counter-intuitive, but eating rare breed meat is a great way to support a breed. By buying and eating this meat, you are supporting breeders making it possible for them to keep our rare breeds alive.’