Tatton Park is famous for its wildlife – particularly its beautiful deer herd – but now its time for another of the park’s animals to be celebrated. This week it was announced that the Tatton’s rare Red Poll Cow herd have been named as ‘Best Small Herd’ in the Northern category of the Red Poll Cattle Society’s annual awards.
Every year, the society select one large and one small herd from the North and from the South of the UK – based on the quality, uniformity and overall health and condition of all the cows in the herd.
Native to the UK, Red Poll cattle are on the Rare Breed Survival Trust watch list. They are a dual purpose breed – meaning they are bred for both milk and beef. The Tatton Red Poll herd has been on the park for over 100 years and currently includes 11 adults and five calves.
Farm Assistant Sam Walton said: “We’re absolutely thrilled for our herd to have been selected for this award – especially as there are quite a few Red Poll herds in this area. The win is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff.”
Judge Denis Jenkins from the Red Poll Society said: “My first impression of the Tatton herd of Red Polls was how uniform the cows were. Although they are only a small herd, it is still not easy to maintain this level of ‘type’ as there are considerable variations within the breed. The rich dark colour is a major contributory factor to them looking so good but there are other factors too. They have a real quality of udder which in turn leads to well grown young stock. Another factor is the management, knowledge and enthusiasm for the breed shown by Sam Walton who is responsible for their care.”
Next step for Tatton’s award winning herd will be entry into the national competition, taking place in early September.
Next year, Tatton Park will showcase its farming practices further with the launch of the unique Field to Fork project – telling the story of the park’s agricultural heritage, how farming and food production has evolved and how it can help improve our lives today and in the future.