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considering the ways in which farm animals are culturally constructed to fit into
particular rural spaces.
Livestock, landscape and rurality
The impact of modern farming methods on elements of the British landscape such
as field trees, drainage features, topography and buildings has been well documented
(see Rackham 1987; Westmacott and Worthington 1984). However, it has rarely
been questioned whether livestock can contribute towards localised landscape
distinctiveness (Evans and Yarwood 1995). This is a serious omission as livestock are
very common in many rural landscapes and bear strong testimony to historic and
current cultures. White Park (see Figure 5.3 ) and Chillingham Cattle provide a
good illustration of this. There is some controversy over the exact origins of these
animals, but they are believed to be Britain's oldest breed of cattle and it would
appear that they are descended from a breed of white cattle which had been roaming
freely in Scotland and northern England since the fifth century. Some of these
animals were enclosed in parks in the thirteenth century for hunting purposes.
These were allowed to live in a relatively feral state, although they may have been
subject to some forms of management, including artificial
Figure 5.3 White Park Cattle.
Source: Authors' photograph
selection through culling. One feral herd survives today at Chillingham Park,
Northumbria (Latham 1998). These Chillinghams have been in-bred to such an
extent that many regard them as a separate breed from the White Parks. The
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