Three Albion cows have made the journey from BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson's farm in Gloucestershire to their new home at the CRT's Brays Farm in Surrey. 

The United Kingdom has 34 native cattle breeds and 14 of these, including the Albion, are considered rare enough to be on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s Watchlist.

The Albion is believed to be from the Welsh Black crossed with a White Dairy Shorthorn. Originally from Derbyshire, it was previously also known as Bakewell Blue or Blue Albion. It suffered a devastating decline in numbers following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the 1960s.

CRT tenant farmers Matthew Elphick and Betsie Edge, who run Nutfield Dairy on Brays Farm, are establishing a new herd of this critically rare breed. One of the cows that has arrived from Cotswold Farm Park is already in calf, having been running with Adam Henson's Albion bull.

Matthew said: "I like traditional breeds and the Albions are nice looking animals. They are robust, dual-purpose cows, which will thrive on a pasture-fed diet like our Dairy Shorthorns. We would like to use their milk to promote the breed by making a Nutfield Dairy cheese dedicated to them.

Countryfile presenter and farmer Adam Henson is a strong advocate for traditional rare breed farm animals and is delighted to see some he has bred at his Cotswold Farm Park moving on to Brays Farm. 

Adam said: “Native cattle breeds were created for the British landscape. Many are well adapted to spending much of the year outdoors and suit low input farming. It’s vital that we keep breeding them from both a genetic and heritage point of view. 

“All rare breed cattle are important, but Albions are particularly special to me, so I’m delighted that Matthew and Betsie are starting this new herd on Brays Farm. I know they have plans to keep breeding them and to develop a new Albion cheese, so that’ll be fantastic to see and taste.”

Read about the regenerative grazing methods being used on Brays Farm with a sneak peek at this Farm Focus feature, printed in the autumn/winter 2023 edition of The Lark magazine.

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To find out more about the history of Albions, visit the Albion Cattle Society’s website at, or for more about rare breeds in general go to 

For updates follow Nutfield Dairy on Facebook

PUBLISHED: 23rd November 2023

PICTURED TOP: The three rare breed Albion cows that have arrived on Brays Farm in Surrey © Nick Dobbs. ABOVE RIGHT: Matthew Elphick and Betsie Edge on Brays Farm at the launch of Nutfield Dairy's Surrey Red Cheese, with their Dairy Shorthorn herd behind © Ben Stoney. LEFT: Countryfile presenter and farmer Adam Henson © Cotswold Farm Park.

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