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White Park: The Revival of a Heritage Breed

Blog • June 2nd 2021

We are delighted to announce our new scheme to revive the White Park breed. This ancient, beautiful breed roamed the British Isles for millennia, but as commercial and continental breeds became preferred, numbers plunged to perilously low levels. Their distinctive wide horns became a roaming rarity on our landscapes, confined to a few areas of parkland.

We want to change this. Heritage breeds like the White Park are ideal for grazing marginal land and for use in regenerative systems which benefit the local environment and ecology. Farmison & Co are financing a long-term farmer and friend, Stuart Raw, to establish a new herd, starting with four cows and four calves in Wensleydale. The magnificent herd currently grazes the upland pastures in the shadow of Castle Bolton in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. When the cows are ready to breed again, a pedigree White Park bull will be introduced to expand the herd, paid for by Farmison & Co.

This innovative financing scheme is a first and helps cover the risk of such an investment for the farmer. Stuart's expertise at raising heritage breed cattle is vital, and Farmison & Co will provide a ready market for the delicious beef. The ultimate beneficiary is the White Park breed, as numbers steadily increase.

Roaming freely on the valley tops amongst the lapwings, curlews, and wild fauna, the grazing land closely resembles the natural environment White Park were bred to live on. Woodland clearings, rough pasture, and wild foraging create an oasis for the cattle, who in turn put nutrients back into the soil, enhancing biodiversity, while also enriching the nutritional profile of the meat.

We expect to have the first meat ready for sale in late 2022, and we will be keeping our customer updated about the progress of the herd. Learn more about the White Park breed here.