Vaynol & calf

Key Characteristics

Most vaynols are semi-feral. Although the Vaynol herd has moved from Vaynol Park and there is some intervention the cattle are very much left to their own devices and retain the wildness and distrust of humans of their ancestors. They also retain their hardiness and require little maintenance.


  • The Vaynol herd was established at Vaynol Park near Bangor in 1872.
  • The herd was maintained under a minimal management system with little in the way of selection of breeding animals until 1980 when the whole herd was relocated to Temple Newsam Estate, near Leeds.
  • Herds of Vaynol cattle have been moved to Lincolnshire and Scotland as a precaution in the event of a disease outbreak.
  • RBST now owns the majority of the population.


  • Vaynols are small, primitive looking cattle.
  • They have slender and angular with medium upswept horns.
  • Colouring is usually white with black ears and nose or completely black
  • They are small. Cows usually weight around 300-350kg and bulls 400-450kg. 


Conservation Grazing 

This small breed is excellent for conservation grazing. Their small size and thrifty nature means that they can survive on poor grazing. Members of the public tend to be wary of their horns and so they are less likely to be disturbed. 

Did you know?

Vaynols are one of the rarest cattle breeds in the UK. RBST works closely with breeders, monitoring inbreeding and other factors to maintain a healthy population. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit to see how you can help.

Breed Societies

Vaynol Cattle

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