White Park is a very old breed of beef cattle, kept in Britain for more than 2000 years, but which is now very rare. In 1973, there were approximately only 60 animals left, a number which has now grown to approximately 950. It is currently classed as ‘minority’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

This stunning breed is known for its distinguished looks – large white animals with black points on their muzzle, ears, eye rims and feet, and elegant wide spreading horns with black tips. They are noted for ease of calving, milkiness and high fertility, and have excellent foraging ability and hardiness making them ideal for conservation management. It is hoped that the addition of this ancient breed of cattle to Roundoak will compliment the other rare breeds already in residence at the Farm, and enable them to further diversify and expand their current conservation grazing program to bring neglected and overgrown land back to serviceable management throughout the South East.

It was therefore with great excitement that Ruth and Norman Coles made the journey this week to meet Guy Myddelton, at the magnificent medieval fortress of Chirk Castle in the Welsh Marches, and which has been home to the Myddelton family for over 400 years. On this trip they successfully collected the first batch of seven White Park cattle, two of which are currently in calf, that are going to form one of the few herds of this breed in the South East. Norman and Ruth also acquired and introduced a small flock of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep to Roundoak on this trip, these will be added to their current flocks of rare breed sheep, which are also heavily involved in their conservation grazing program.