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A breed of cattle native to that county. Gloucesters' are now regarded as dual-purpose animals, but have also been used as draught animals in the past. The breed has always been associated with Single and Double Gloucester cheese. Indeed, the former can now only be made on farms in Gloucestershire which have a pedigree herd of Gloucester cows. The breeds meat is of high quality and is sold as Old Gloucester Beef. With the increased popularity of other breeds during the 20th century, numbers of Gloucester seriously declined., and by 1972, there were only 68 head left in existence. Through the hard work of the Breed Society and The Rare Breed Survival Trust, this number is now thought to be over 700, but financial support is still needed.
Gloucesters' are a medium-sized breed, blacky-brown in colour, with a white stripe on the back, down the hindquarters including the tail, and along the belly. The horns are medium in length and upswept.
Yields of milk aren't high by modern standards, but what is produced is ideal for cheesemaking. The beef is fine grained and well marbled - benefiting from the animals long maturing period. For more information contact: The Gloucester Cattle Society, Gleve Farm, Black Bourton, Nr. Bampton, Oxon, OX18 2PP. Tel: 01993-846600. See 'Rare Breeds Survival Trust'