North East Connected

Chillingham Wild Cattle Association becomes Octogenarian

The Chillingham Wild Cattle Association (CWCA,) formed in 1939, is reaching a very important milestone this year – it will be its ‘Annus Octogesimus’ – or put more simply, it will be 80 years old!

In recognition of this milestone anniversary, the CWCA will be holding a celebratory dinner at the home of the ancient cattle breed, Chillingham Castle.  With guest speaker former MP and government minister and Trustee Chris Mullin, this will be the first of several events held throughout the 80th anniversary year.

The main celebration will be held on Saturday 12th October with an evening champagne reception at 7pm sponsored by Brockthorpe Consultancy, professional and expert advisors for farmers, landowners and businesses, and will be followed by a supper of Chillingham park venison and a Doddington pudding, all washed down with a glass of good wine.

The CWCA exists to preserve the Chillingham Wild Cattle, which is a Northumberland treasure thanks to its distinctive appearance and rarity.  Its history dates back over 800 years due to its unique ability for survival in its natural surroundings with little human intervention.

The breed is the only surviving wild herd, whose ancestors once roamed Britain’s forests and has since become synonymous with the landscape around Chillingham and is much loved by locals and visitors.

A registered charity, the CWCA have secured the future of the cattle. In the winter of 1947, numbers were reduced to 13, and since then the herd has steadily grown again, and today numbers stand in the region of 100.

This key event is to mark a milestone, and to raise money to restore the building known as the Prince of Wales Pavilion, at the entrance of the park to be used as a visitors centre. To help this along, an auction will be held on the night with lots including a meal at the Michelin star Ledbury Restaurant in Notting Hill, a week’s stay in a villa in France sleeping up to 20 people, a Chillingham McNab, as well as shooting, fishing, stalking and racing packages.

This will be a prestigious occasion with dinner served at 7.30pm followed by a talk by Chris Mullin who will speak about his life as an author, journalist and former minister.  The auction will finish off proceedings.  The dress code for the evening will be “Ties with a touch of white,” and attendees will be seated in tables of ten to enjoy the entertainment and delicious supper.

On announcing details of the evening, Trustee and organiser Jim Railton said: “The CWCA is proud to have reached such a major milestone so we are launching our 80th year of celebrations in style with this auspicious event.  It will be an opportunity to enjoy good food and wine, in great company, listening to an inspiring talk and helping us to raise some much-needed funds for an important cause.”

Formed in 1939 on the eve of war, The Chillingham Wild Cattle Association (CWCA) now has over 350 members and remains passionate about the preservation of this distinct and iconic herd, which is steeped in history. This charitable organisation relies upon both the public interest and support and anyone interested in supporting the cattle can join the CWCA on the website by selecting the membership tab.

Tickets for the event are priced at £35 each and are available by contacting Jim Railton on 01668 215323 or 07774 241111.  Accommodation is also available at the Castle on 01668 215359.

For more information, please visit

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