Near-miss story – Maddi’s Tale

In April this year, three of us were walking on a public footpath through Tring Park, in Herefordshire. There was a sign on a gate that warned us to be careful of cows, especially with dogs. We didn’t have a dog with us, so we weren’t particularly worried.

Suddenly, a herd of cows came over a hill and began running straight towards us. They had calves with them.

We ran away, but they chased us. To try to escape, we turned off the path and hid under a tree. The cows stopped on the path and began walking slowly towards us. They started to surround the tree. We were terrified.

Slowly, we started to walk away (instead of running). Thankfully they didn’t follow us.

When we got near the gate out of the field, and thinking we were safe, we stopped to talk. Suddenly, the cows suddenly started running at us again. We raced to the gate and managed to get away.

We didn’t have a dog with us, so there was no reason for the attack. I have no doubt that if we hadn’t got out of their way by hiding under the tree, they would have trampled us.

Luckily nobody was hurt, but we were badly frightened. Afterwards we reported it to the Woodland Trust (who own the park), but as far as we know there has been no further investigation.

More people should be aware of how dangerous cows can be. Possibly we need to fence off paths when they pass through a field of cattle.


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