Charlotte’s Story: My mother was threatened by a bullock

On the 5th October, 2020, I was walking on the river footpath between Litlington and Alfriston, East Sussex, with my parents and my dog.

As we walked along the footpath, a lady approached us and said she had been forced to turn BACK as there was a group of ‘moody cows’ on the path. I picked up my dog, but we continued.

We saw a group of cattle ahead and gave them a wide berth.

Unfortunately, one of the bullocks tried to charge at my mother (who was in front). I walked past OK with my dog (who I was carrying due to the lady’s comments) and so did my father. But the bullock kept dipping its head as if to charge at my mother.

Luckily, my mother had trekking poles with her, and she bashed them in front of the bullock’s face. But everytime she started to turn away to walk on, it started charging again.

The incident was very frightening. As a family we have lots of experience of walking in the countryside, and I have never seen cattle behave in this way. I was carrying my dog due to the ladies warning and the bullock did not seem interested in her (nor in me or my father). It was just my mother he tried to attack, for no obvious reason.

There were no warning signs about cattle. This footpath is very popular and I believe could have resulted in a very nasty accident very easily. These cows should not be in a field with a public right of way.

Later, I did report the incident to the Ramblers Association and to the local authority. It would be helpful to have an easier way of registering such incidents. I had to research, and register for the Ramblers’ and the council’s website, and I imagine the effort / admin would put a lot of people off.

Header photo: Photo by Stefan Pasch on Unsplash

Report reference: 242551914

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