Rarest of the rare
Records of this iconic breed of cattle at Dinefwr date back to the year 920. They were mentioned in the laws of Hywel Dda (Hywel the Good) who codified the laws of the land and lived at Dinefwr castle the ruins of which remain overlooking the Dinefwr estate.
There are only around a thousand breeding females left in the world, that’s less than the rare Giant Panda! So our White Park herd really are the rarest of the rare and a living link to our very distant past.
What makes a ‘perfect’ White Park?
The best way to describe the ideal White Park would be all white with coloured points, the points being the nose, ears, hooves and the tip on each horn. These points are usually black however they have been known to be red too.
Like most in the animal kingdom, our herd sometimes get a genetic throwback which results in some rather unusual examples for the White Park breed. We’ve had calves that are all black, all red even spotted calves; despite the mother and father had perfect White Park markings.
The story of the White Park cattle's origins was of particular interest to Adam, who has always believed that they were introduced to the UK by the Romans. But we were able to challenge his theory about the White Park’s DNA as our herd of cattle has recently undergone genetic testing, proving there to be little or no link between our cows and the Italian White cattle.
Our famous herd have appeared on some of Britain’s most popular television shows. We were delighted to welcome BBC's Countryfile and presenter Adam Henson to discover the fascinating history of our famous herd of White Park cattle.
Adam Henson, famous for his segment, ‘Adam’s Farm’ on Countryfile, is no stranger to handling the primitive breed as he, along with the National Trust, has one of the last remaining herds in the UK.