BCP Council’s vegetarian-only food policy at a beachside environmental café was “doomed to fail”, according to a countryside organisation. 

The Countryside Alliance, which campaigns to promote British farming, said the “vast bulk” of the British public enjoys eating meat and warned the council should not discriminate. 

It follows the council’s u-turn on its vegetarian-only menu at the Environmental Hub in Durley Chine after feedback from hungry diners demanded meat. 

Mo Metcalf-Fisher, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said: “BCP Council leaders should have known this meatless menu project was doomed to fail.

Bournemouth Echo: The menu was vegetarian-onlyThe menu was vegetarian-only (Image: Daily Echo)

“The vast bulk of the British public enjoy meat as part of a balanced diet and there’s no sign of that changing.  

“Given it’s a public building, it should cater for all and not discriminate.

Read more: Vegetarian menu ditched by council after diners demand meat

“There’s a dangerous misconception that ‘going green’ must equal the eradication of meat. This is totally untrue and threatens the future of the countryside we all know and love.  

“Councils, particularly those based in rural counties like Dorset, should not be normalising anti-livestock farming sentiment. 

Bournemouth Echo: The cafe is now selling meatThe cafe is now selling meat (Image: Pixabay)

He added: “Supporting sustainable livestock farming and buying local produce goes a long way to reducing emissions while supporting people that works tirelessly to enhance and protect the countryside and natural environment.” 

Mr Metcalf-Fisher said that if the council wants to show off its green credentials, it should supply locally sourced produce and that the café should be used to showcase British farming.

Read more: Vegan restaurant 'forced out' by landlord over dispute

A spokesperson for BCP Council said: “When we launched in February 2023, the catering manager made some well-considered menu decisions based on data and trends.  

“We served milk-based ice cream, homemade vegetarian cakes and a selection of vegan pasties. 

Bournemouth Echo: Countryside Alliance is calling on the council to back British farmingCountryside Alliance is calling on the council to back British farming (Image: Don Williams, Camera Club member)

“The biggest request on the comment cards for the first three months was for a meat option.” 

The hub used to sell vegetarian sausage rolls, meat-free pasties and vegan cakes among other ethical eats but has since added meat. 

The Environmental Hub, which cost £2.4m to develop and used recycled materials collected from the sea to highlight plastic pollution and also features a green roof on top of a building.