Let the bull see the herd

The new bull at Dinefwr
Published : 31 May 2017 Last update : 30 May 2017

He’s a bit of all White and has arrived today (31 May 2017) at Dinefwr to save their White Park cattle herd for future generations.

Quattro is the new bull National Trust Wales have matched with its ancestral cattle to keep the herd alive and flourishing. 

Characterised by their pure white coats and black noses and ears, White Park Cattle have lived at Dinefwr for over one thousand years and the new bull has the responsibility of serving a herd of almost 30 females and their offspring. 

A legendary herd

Records of this iconic breed of cattle at Dinefwr date back to the year 920 and were referenced in the laws of Hywel Dda. 

Outside of their historic importance, the cattle are an integral part to the successful management of Dinefwr, conserving the land through grazing. The breed is ideally suited to the terrain so provides the most natural and effective method of managing the wildflower hay meadows. 

The White Park Cattle at Dinefwr go back a thousand years
White Park Cattle stood in front of Newton House, Dinefwr
The White Park Cattle at Dinefwr go back a thousand years

Family history

Rhodri Thomas who has been in training to take the reigns as head Stockman, said: “The arrival of a new bull has been highly anticipated. To sustain the Dinefwr line, we were searching for a pedigree White Park bull and we are pleased to say we have found that in Quattro.

“It will take him up to four months to serve the whole herd and we’ll find out how successful he’s been next spring.”

Visitors might notice that Quattro, unlike other White Park Cattle has black ears but no black points which means that he is more likely to rear white than black calves.

The young bull is from a herd of White Park Cattle bred in Devon but his family history lies in Dynevor. His Great Grandmother, Dynevor Phoenix 4th’s painting hangs above the fireplace of the tea-room in Newton House and his grandfather, Dinefwr Ivan was reared on the land.

Royal backing

During a visit in February, His Royal Highness Prince of Wales, who has been President of the National Trust since 2003 and Patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust for more than 40 years, generously announced a donation to the Save the Herd at Dinefwr campaign.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: "His Royal Highness was delighted to see how well the White Park Cattle at Dinefwr were doing during his memorable visit to the park. HRH will be really pleased to learn that they have finally got a new bull to help continue the herd’s development and breeding success."

With Royal backing and contributions from the public, the National Trust are half way to achieving the £36,000 needed to ensure this special breed of cattle thrives at Dinefwr, along with the landscape and habitats it helps to conserve.

Visitors can see the cattle between April and late October in the main field in front of Newton House every day, with tractor trailer tours to get up close and personal during school holidays.