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White Park - heifer calf - Great Britain

White Park
(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

(local/other name):
• Park
• White Forest
• White Horned
Wild White

The White Park, considered to be the most ancient cattle breed in Great Britain, has been recorded for over two thousand years and has maintained a sort of mystical status for much of that time. There’s even an island off the coast of Ireland named Inishbofin (Inis Bo Finne in Gaelic) which translates to ‘Island of the White Cow’. There are multiple references to them through the ages, particularly in literature and other sources from Ireland, Wales, northern England and Scotland.

After 1225, several parks in Scotland and England became enclosed and wild cattle were enclosed in them. A population known as the Chartley herd can probably be traced back to Welsh white cattle; the closed herds of Cadzow (in Scotland) and Chillingham (in Northumberland) are definitely not of Welsh origin.

The White Park did come close to extinction but has rebounded since 1974 and has also been exported to several countries.

The White Park was historically a great triple-purpose breed, but in the 20th century a focus on production of their excellent beef has made them essentially single-purpose. Their coat is white or speckled white with black ears, nose and feet.

The White Park has been used in creating the following breeds:
British White
Speckle Park
White Galloway

This page was last updated on: 2020-04-23

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My Daily Cow® Great Britain and read about other British cattle breeds.

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