APRIL 17, 2009: Numbers of White Park, the most ancient cattle breed in the British Isles, are on the increase.

In 2005, there were less than 250 registered breeding females and the breed was under ‘severe threat,’ the Rare Breeds Survival Trust says.Latest figures show the total has risen to between 750 and 1,500 registered breeding cows compared to below 750 last year. The breed is understood to date back at least to the 5th century in parts of Wales, Scotland, northern England and Ireland. The taste of the White Park’s well-marbled beef and its ability to adapt to and thrive in a variety of conditions has contributed to the breed’s growing success, according to RBST. Meanwhile, the organisation is also reporting rising numbers of the Traditional Hereford breed. RBST chairman Tim Brigstocke said: “RBST was founded in 1973 to stop breeds like the White Park from becoming extinct as we knew they would have a role to play in the future of British farming. “Both the White Park and the Traditional Hereford are being increasingly recognised for their meat quality and lower input costs and we expect their popularity to continue to increase.”

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