A walker from Meriden tells his story.
On the 1/5/2020, I was walking on my own on a public footpath, close to the B4102, just south of Fillongley, North Warwickshire. When I entered a field, along the footpath, I saw about 10 large bullocks (I think they were about 2/3 the size of a fully grown bull and quite large).
I was about half way across the field, when the bullocks ran straight at me.
If I’d have turned and tried to run they would have trampled me – as they were quick and very big. I turned to face them, tried to keep calm, and waved my arms. They were deterred, but kept coming at me.
I walked backwards, very slowly, towards the stile. I kept always facing and bulls, and stood still if they got too close.
I managed to get to the stile, and climbed over to safety. I wasn’t injured, but badly frightened. It was a very dangerous event.
There were no warning signs. I was brought up in the country, so I know how to react in these situations but anyone not familiar with cattle would have been in trouble.
Farmers should not have such dangerous animals in a field where there is a public right of way.
The other point worth saying is the bullocks were standing up – never a good sign – and I think they were about to be fed by the farmer. It’s quite possible they thought I was about to feed them and they became excited. No conciliation of course if you get trampled. In hindsight, noticing they were standing up, perhaps I should have tried to skirt round the field somehow.
Farmers are prohibited by law from keeping bulls in a field crossed by a public footpath, unless the bulls are from a non-dairy breed and are accompanied by cows. They are, however, allowed to keep bullocks under 10 months old in the field.
It is possible these were just very large bullocks, or it is also possible the farmer was breaking the law.
Read what the Ramblers say about bulls on footpaths.