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Cadzow White Park Cattle

Wild white cattle once roamed the northern forests of Britain. They are easily recognised by their white coats and distinctive black muzzles, ears, feet and horn tips. It is thought that the white cattle descend from a very early group of European wild ox called the Aurochs, possibly brought to Britain for religious purposes, or used in the Roman and Phoenician trade. Their size and white colour would have made them prized as sacrificial animals.

Wild populations became established in the forests of southern Scotland.  Their fearsome reputation and value as a hunting quarry saved them from extinction and by the 15th century they had become enclosed in a number of aristocratic hunting parks in southern Scotland and northern England.

The Cadzow cattle used to roam freely in Hamilton High parks. In the late 1960s they were moved to the Duke of Hamilton's estate in East Lothian but, in 1987 a small group of Cadzow bullocks was returned to the new Chatelherault Country Park.

Only two herds of white cattle now remain – the very small Cadzow herd at Chatelherault and another much larger one at Chillingam in Northumberland. The beasts at Chatelherault can usually be seen grazing in fields next to the "grand avenue" at the front of Chatelherault.

Charles Kirk of Glasgow shot and stuffed two of the white cadzow cattle and these are on display in the Chatelherault Visitor Centre.