The White Park is a genetically distinctive breed from all other ancient British cattle types. There is speculation that these cattle were introduced to Britain by the Romans. The breed survived over time in small herds in areas which were dominated by Celtic culture. The cattle were often kept feral in herds that lived within “parks”. These parks were private hunting grounds owned by various members of nobility or wealthy land lords.
The White Park is a large, slow growing breed that can have cows weighing up to 1,400 pounds and bulls over a ton. They are a beef breed providing high quality lean meat. They are long lived and hardy surviving easily on rough forage with no shelter. The cows are known to have virtually no birthing difficulties.
Ancient White Park Cattle Society of North America
1273 Otter Creek Road
Big Timber, MT 59011
SVF has collaborated with Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia to obtain Ancient White Park cows for embryo collection. Ayrshire has developed a successful niche market for the breed and sells beef from their large herd of Ancient White Park cattle through local channels in Virginia. One such market is Ayrshire’s own restaurant, the Hunters Head Tavern. Consumers can enjoy a wide assortment of dishes made from this rare heritage breed including shepherd’s pie and roast beef. If you’re traveling through Virginia be sure to stop in and support the market for these endangered cattle.