Chillingham Wild Cattle Association (CWCA,) the renowned conservation body formed in 1939 to protect the wild cattle, has celebrated its milestone 80th birthday in style at the home of the rare beasts, Chillingham Park.
The prestigious sell-out event was both an opportunity to mark this important milestone and to celebrate this unique and internationally renowned herd of wild white cattle.
The evening commenced with a drinks reception in Chillingham Castle’s Minstrel’s Gallery followed by a delicious formal dinner in the Great Hall. Following the food and refreshments former minister Chris Mullins (a Trustee of the CWCA) had the audience in hysterics with his tales of his time in parliament.
The delicious dinner also embraced the theme of “8”, with resident caterer Michelle Windsor, sourcing the main ingredients from within eight miles of Chillingham Park, the home of the famous herd.
Venison for the main course came from within the walls itself and the salads came from Northumberland Green , just down the road in Sheilhope. Particularly Good Potatoes from Turvelaws Farm near Wooler provided locally grown, peeled and washed potatoes. Eggs from Chatton Park Farm were incorporated within the recipes, various supplies came from Chatton Village Store and the ice cream for the dessert was kindly donated by Doddington Dairy Ice Cream and dolloped generously on top of a fruity crumble pudding. Finally, Hetton Law Brewery provided a local ale to wash it all down.
After everyone had been fed and entertained, the evening concluded with a charity auction which raised significant and much-needed funds. The lots included 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, a locally bred Hebridean hogg supplied by Lord Joicey, a beautiful hand crafted Shepherd’s crook made from the horns of the wild cattle as well as shooting, fishing and stalking packages.
The night raised an impressive £13,000 with the runaway auction success of the night, the villa in France, raising £5200 and the shepherd’s crook raising £500.
Summing up the success of the evening, Jim Railton, Trustee for the charity said:
“The event was a roaring success both in terms of a wonderful evening of food and entertainment, and also in raising funds for our much-needed visitor centre at the park.
“A big thank you must go out to all who supported this event – the team behind the planning and organisation, the Trustees, those who sponsored or donated to the event, and those that bought tickets and enjoyed a tremendously successful evening supporting and raising the profile of this special cause. We look forward to many more celebratory events in this our 80th year of protecting these precious beasts.”
Chillingham Park boasts one of the highest species of plant and animal life per acre in the country in terms of biodiversity and Ellie Waddington, the Park Warden, explained how important it is to look after the environment for the rare beasts to thrive:
“The land is unique and relatively unspoiled, providing interest to wildlife enthusiasts, historians and scientists alike. The 80th event was especially important as it is crucial that we continue to raise the funds to continue our work as custodians of this beautiful place so that the cattle can continue to thrive.”
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.
For more information, please visit www.chillinghamwildcattle.com.