During the late 1970s, a few dedicated farmers set out, under the title of “The Coloured Cattle of Wales”, to find the remaining non-black cattle that still existed in the uplands of Wales and learn more about their history. This took several years, as most lived on remote hill farms. By 1981, it was felt that the time right to form a new breed society, as described below in the cutting from the Western Mail newspaper. The inaugural meeting of the new society was held in Dolgellau in September of that year, and the Ancient Cattle of Wales was born.
Initially, efforts were concentrated on inspecting all cattle submitted for inspection and the creation of a herd book, albeit from very low numbers to begin with. Since then, work has continued on increasing the numbers and quality of beasts being recorded in the herd book, developing the breed standard and getting the colours recognised by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).
Occasional sales are organised, with individual animals being advertised on this website between sales. In addition, work is currently being undertaken to get the breed fully recognised by the European Union, the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). The Society’s Annual General Meeting continues to be held in September, and is always an interesting and lively event.
The current officers are:
Hon. President: Tim Ash, Bovey Tracey
Hon. Vice Presidents: Bruce McKay, Pennal; Meirion and Ceinwen Owen
Chairman: Gareth Ioan
Vice-Chairman: Mike Lewis
Secretary: Sian Ioan
Treasurer: Deborah Powell
Website Officer: Jane Ricketts Hein
New members are always very welcome – whether you already own cattle or are just interested in helping to protect and develop a vital piece of Welsh landscape and culture. Please contact the Secretary here.
Some of the members at the 2016 AGM.