THE "incredible revival" of a much-loved breed of cattle will be celebrated at this year's Tenbury Countryside Show.

The annual country show at Tenbury Wells on August 5 is this year celebrating the incredible revival of the world-famous Hereford breed.

The iconic reddish-brown cattle with a curly-haired white face descended from the draught ox of Roman times, but has suffered great decline over the past 50 years as larger breeds of these lumbering animals from continental Europe have come to dominate the beef industry.

But with growing interest in native breeds, there has been a 50 per cent increase in farming Herefords with some 10,000 calves registered last year.

The Hereford cattle have long been valued for their independence as hardy natural foragers able to adapt and survive in almost any climatic condition. They are also valued for their longevity, with many females living and producing calves beyond the age of 15. Bulls are capable of remaining profitable at stud to the age of 12 or more.

The breed has a proud history dating back hundreds of years.

In 1738, Benjamin Tomkins was the first to start commercially breeding Herefords at Canon Pyon, Herefordshire, with Herefords becoming the first English cattle to be recognised as a true breed.

By 1817 the first two pairs of Herefords were exported to the USA by Kentucky Statesman, Henry Clay, and thereafter spreading across the United States and Canada through Mexico to the great beef-raising countries of South America.

In 1878, the Hereford Cattle Society, was founded under the patronage of Queen Victoria.

Today, with close to ten million cattle across 120 countries, they provide the highest quality marbled beef across the globe.

The cattle have the ability to command top prices in the markets both as finished beef and store cattle, and a higher selling price for breeding stock.

They are also said to have lower wintering costs, and are known for their docility and ease of management, and early maturity and longevity.