Young, single and ready to mingle
THE search is on for a virile bull of impeccable pedigree to help preserve the bloodline of rare White Park cattle at Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire. The urgent campaign, launched by National Trust Wales, looks to raise £36,000 to purchase a suitor and a few new females for the 13-strong herd, which has been on the property for more than 1,000 years. Richard Broad, field officer at the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST), calls the initiative ‘a beacon of hope for all rare breeds’.
White Park cattle are characterised by pure-white coats and sooty black ears and noses and The Princess Royal keeps them at Gatcombe. There are only about 750 breeding females left in the world, which makes them rarer than the giant panda.
‘Dinefwr wouldn’t be Dinefwr without them—every heifer and bull is special to me,’ says local dairy farmer Wyn Davies, who has spent the past 18 years looking after the herd. He adds: ‘After four years of distinguished service, the current bull, Strelley Bendigo, has maximised his potential. A new male needs to enter the herd to preserve the bloodline and make sure the bulls bred on the land are true to species.’
Justin Albert, Director of National Trust Wales adds: ‘The White Park cattle are vital to Dinefwr and important to Wales. They’re a significant part of Welsh history that we want to protect and preserve and we’ll do all we can to ensure the breed continues to thrive and delight our visitors for generations to come.’
You can donate to Dinefwr’s White Park cattle fund by texting COW to 70123 (£3), by telephoning 0344 800 1895 or by calling in person at the property. For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ dinefwr
Wanted: one virile White Park bull for Dinefwr
Above: Churchill’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Left: The war leader’s miniature paintbox