The Highland cattle that you see on Dartmoor are wonderful site, especially at this time of year with the autumn sun lighting up that long wavy woolly coat and with those spectacular long horns.
They’re a hardy breed, originally from the Highlands and the Outer
Hebrides of Scotland and were first mentioned in the 6th Century. The first herd book described two distinct types of Highland cattle, but after cross breeding between the two there is now only one. Having been bred in Scotland to withstand the conditions of the Scottish Highlands, the long hair gives the breed its ability to overwinter in the harsh Scottish climate so Highland cattle are suited to our winters here on Dartmoor.
Their meat is very tender and of high value; show animals are also groomed with oils to make their coats very fluffy which leads to some outside the industry calling them ‘Fluffy Cows’.
Highland cattle were exported all over the world during the late 1800s, from Australia to the United States.