Cattle History

The White Park is the most ancient breed of British cattle. It was first mentioned in the sagas of pre- Christian Ireland where it was used as currency. The Welsh Princes, who ruled the kingdom of Deheubarth in South Wales from the ninth to the twelfth century, gave the white cattle special status and they were used for the payment of tribute. In the thirteenth century several herds in England were enclosed in hunting chases, and James I recognised the special quality of White Park beef at a banquet in August 1617 at Hoghton Tower in Lancashire, and knighted it “Sir Loin.” From that time the breed existed mainly in unselected parkland herds until the mid-20th century. At the beginning of the Second World War the historical significance of the breed was recognised when a small group of animals were shipped to Toronto on the orders of Winston Churchill for their protection as part of the British genetic heritage. 
 
White Parks thrive on coarse herbage and were traditionally kept as a woodland breed. The lack of selection and extensive management of these cattle have enabled the White Park to retain its natural qualities of longevity, adaptability and ease of calving. The White Park has a distinctive appearance. It is white with coloured points (muzzle, ears, eye-rims and feet) usually black but occasionally red. It has long graceful horns, which sweep sideways, forward and upwards.

White Park cattle are very hardy and successfully live out in low temperatures and wet weather. The breed is ideally suited for conservation grazing and has been successfully used to protect and enhance SSSI environments as diverse as chalk downland, coastal marshes and ancient forest.

DW Cope Partners
Beaudesert Park Farm,
Horsey Lane,
Upper Longdon,
Rugeley,
Staffs

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