In 2010, my husband and I were in our late 50s and were walking along a footpath somewhere in Somerset. We came to a field containing cows, and my husband walked diagonally across the field ( I walked round the edge ).
A large cow started to follow him, and I urged my husband to hurry to the stile at the edge of the field, as I didn’t like the look of the cow. The cow then made as if to mount my husband, rearing up, just as he got to the stile. Luckily he escaped unharmed.
Cows are VERY big, and we found the incident very scary.
A second incident, at another time in north Devon, involved my husband being rushed at by a large number of young bullocks and totally surrounded. No harm was done, but this incident was also very scary.
My husband was raised in the country and worked on farms in his youth, so he wasn’t in the least bit scared of cows – as I was – until these incidents. Now, however, he’s completely changed his mind and we are both very wary of entering a field with cows in it. Unfortunately, this has impacted on any walks we may want to do in the countryside, as we always have to ask – “Will there be cows?” If “Yes” we think again or make sure we keep to the edges and can quickly climb over the fence!
I do feel very strongly that farmers whose land includes a public footpath should NOT have cows there, or should put up a walkway through the field, protected by an electric fence, for legitimate walkers to use.