On the 30th May 2020, our family was walking on a public footpath through a field behind the Barton Abbey estate, in Oxfordshire. We noticed a group of cattle – a bull with cows and calves – were present in the same field.
We kept our dog on a short lead, and calmly walked along the route which was towards the cows but not in between them. Up ahead we saw some calves were in the middle of the path, but before we had a chance to change direction to go around them, some of the cows began walking closely to us.
One cow stepped in front of us, and made an aggressive noise, which we can only assume was towards the dog. Suddenly, all of the cows started coming towards us. They circled us – it was incredibly frightening.
My dad stood his ground, and stomped his foot. This made some of the cows back away. He stomped and continue to distract them, while the four of us, and the dog, slowly exited the field.
We found another route to take.
It was a terrifying experience and has confirmed my fear of cows!
After this incident, it seems that others have had the same reaction when they’ve calmly walked through fields with their dog. It seems cows perceive dogs as a threat, and act defensively, so I feel that people with dogs should be warned not to enter fields with cows and calves. I certainly won’t again!
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash