Silver aiming to win gold at national awards
A business founded by a one-time vegetarian turned wild game enthusiast is on the shortlist for a prestigious national accolade.
Hadrian’s Game Larder, run by Silver Sheldon, is a finalist in the UK-wide Game Champion category at the Countryside Alliance Awards.
She will find out on Wednesday at a glittering reception at the House of Lords if the business she founded six years ago has done enough to convince the judging panel of its worth.
If it wins, it will be following in the footsteps of another Northumberland business, Blagdon Farm Shop, which was named the inaugural winner of the Game Champion Award last year.
One of only a handful of women working in the game industry nationally, Silver not only rears her own pheasants, partridges and ducks, but runs a processing facility in Ponteland, does outside catering and has a bakery where she and her team produce pies, pates, terrines, Scotch eggs, sausages and burgers, selling under the Hadrian’s Game Larder banner.
She said: “I’m incredibly excited that we’ve been shortlisted.
“Being in the final is a feather in the cap, not just for me and my business, but the whole of the North East game industry.”
Silver was a vegetarian from aged 11 to 17, but after taking a job at a game farm in her native Dorset, she said she realised there are two sides to every story and that she could morally justify eating wild meat.
She went on to study game and wildlife management, before joining red and black grouse conservancy projects, and eventually moved to Northumberland.
Silver set up Hadrian’s Game Larder when she started baking her own pies.
She said: “I couldn’t find one that I could put my own pennies to – there wasn’t a game pie out there that fitted my criteria; traditional hot water crust pastry, deep filled and solid enough to cut through with a sharp knife.”
The business, which employs three part-time staff, supplies farm shops and restaurants, and sells direct to the public.