Exports of speciality, high end British lamb are continuing to grow thanks to the palates of our European neighbours.

"The slightly salty flavour and high mineral content of lamb reared on British salt marshes - salt marsh lamb - is very distinctive and popular in France and Belgium," said MLC export manager JP Garnier.

"And the Herdwick sheep breed also produces lamb with a very traditional flavour, which is also favoured by the French."

Although the volume of exports is very small - less than a tonne a year for Herdwick lamb - exports are soaring. About 30,000 salt marsh lamb carcases, or 45t, are exported each year, mainly to France. "We were not exporting any specialist lamb like this 18 months ago and it's a welcome addition to the high volume conventional lamb exports," said Garnier.

"Producing and exporting speciality lamb is an important - and growing - part of the export mix."