IT might be landlocked and miles away from the sea, but a Stirlingshire king prawn farm has been supplying to restaurants in Scotland from their warm water site for the past year.

However, they are going a step further and now Great British Prawns will be available for the first time for delivery to households across the UK - no need for freezing or air miles.

The majority of the UK's king prawns sourced frozen from farms in the Far East and Central America, and can take up to a year to get here from their country of origin. Travelling on average 6,000 miles, they are often produced using methods widely condemned for their environmental practices

With more than a million harvested last year, the fresh king prawns are produced sustainably in the world’s first clear water, clean energy farm. Great British Prawns will harvest the warm water king prawns weekly at its saltwater farm in Balfron for delivery fresh to doorsteps across the UK, although sadly it currently excludes the Highlands and islands.

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Going into lockdown, the company's usual supply route to restaurants was cut off so the team looked at how they could adapt which has led to a benefit for seafood lovers and home cooks.

James McEuen, director of Great British Prawns Director, said: “We had to pivot the business because of Covid. The supply to restaurants and hotels just wasn't there and we really had to look at what we could do. I think people have become interested in the provenance of their food in this way we have been living. We have been able to create a direct consumer offering and it has all happened pretty quickly. With just a couple of clicks, people can order and have them delivered to their home on a Friday morning.

"We harvest on a Thursday and once they are packaged are with the courier and with the customer the next morning. I think people have become discerning with their food, particularly since lockdown, and are interested in how it got here as well as how it has been produced."

While coronavirus may have prompted the change in the business, Mr McEuen feels this step is the next part in their story.

He added: "We’re really proud of our sustainable king prawns. Great British Prawns’ approach means that we are able to offer these with the highest welfare standards and with no antibiotics or air miles - delivered direct to households across the UK. By buying Great British Prawns people across the UK are supporting a new and sustainable approach to seafood production.

"We have even ensured that our packaging keeps the product at below 4C until it reaches the customer and we have developed packaging that is easily recycled. Delivering the prawns in a certain timeframe is the only reason we can't serve the Highlands and Islands at the moment, but we will keeep looking at that."

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The prawns are delivered in 1kg packs (around 35-40 large king prawns) at a cost of £40 plus £4.99 delivery ready to be boiled, grilled, pan-fried or barbecued.

The company, led by former soldier Dougie Allen, who served in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, took around five years to reach the production stage and they had their first harvest last year.

Great British Prawns uses specially developed aquaculture technology and sustainable energy to produce warm water king prawns in clear and clean water in the United Kingdom for the first time. Unlike conventional farming methods, this clean, clear water approach means that antibiotics, pesticides and vaccines are never used and the there is no need to manually handle the prawns.

The Stirlingshire-based farm combines expert prawn husbandry with world-leading technology, sustainable energy and a no-waste approach. Their pioneering Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) cleans and recycles the majority of the water used in the system every day to provide locally grown prawns, without contaminating the environment.

Their farm, which it is hoped could be the first of many, has been designed to have minimal and an increasingly reduced impact on its surrounding environment.

It uses sustainable energy from an anaerobic digester on a neighbouring dairy farm, high levels of insulation along with bio-filters to clean and recycle its waste, heat that would otherwise have been lost is used to produce food.

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