In the summer of 2015, I was walking with my wife along part of the Wales Coast Path in Carmarthenshire, not far from St Clears. As we approached a field (Fox Hole Farm), we saw approximately 30 dairy cattle. They were all cows, with no calves and no bull.
The path followed a diagonal route through the field and, luckily, the cattle were to one side of the field approximately 50 metres away. We walked through the gate into the field, and quickly made our way towards the exit kissing gate. But, when we got just past the half-way point, the cattle started to make movements towards us.
We increased our pace, and the cattle started to canter towards us.
Frightened, we ran – and luckily just made it through the exit gate before the cows caught up with us.
We have no doubt had we not made it to the gate we would have been trampled. We have been walking for over 40 yrs and this was the 3rd time we have had similar experience.
There were no warning signs, and we didn’t have a dog with us. I reported the incident to National Resources Wales, but I was told that because it happened in Carmarthenshire nothing could be done.
More recently, we have been walking the coast around the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales, between Llanbedrog and Caernavon. Generally the path was protected by either a fence or an electric fence. We came across two fields (separate farms) where cattle were an obstruction. Due to our past experiences, we had to deviate away from the path and find an alternative route, which is both a significant problem and spoils the walking experience.
I just can’t understand why a safe and protected right of way cannot be made for all farm fields.
Header photo courtesy of Ruth’s Coastal Walk