Jan’s story: saved by her walking poles

On the 25th of June, 2020, I was walking with my friend and his dog. We were on a footpath on Bethecar Moor, near Oxen Park, in Cumbria. We crested a hill in the middle of a field, and saw that cattle were dispersed generally across the field, so it was not possible to walk around them.

One cow broke away and made towards us. My friend moved away with the dog on the lead, as I faced the cow and held up my walking poles.

The cow stopped. But, as I turned to walk away, it began running at me. I turned and faced it again and it slowed down, allowing my friend and dog to progress further away. This happened a few times – until we both got near enough to the field’s edge to run away.

We weren’t injured, but we were badly frightened.

If a field is crossed by a public footpath, then the pathway should be sectioned off from cattle in the same place.

Header Image by Korbstuhl-am-Meer from Pixabay

Report reference: 242614082

2 thoughts on “Jan’s story: saved by her walking poles

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  1. I walk often along a river path also used by cyclists. The path runs along the edge of one largely fenced field with a stile at either end. On the homeward lap of a walk on one occasion cows and calves were across the path in large numbers (they had been very distant from the path on the outward walk) We waited on the safe side of the stile and considered diverting to avoid crossing the field. 3 or 4 cyclists then arrived behind us and the first raised up his bicycle so the back wheel was on the ground and the front in the air. He then entered the path and the cows moved off, so we followed swiftly on foot in the wake of the cyclists. Similar principle to the walking pole, however I noted in the article the cow did attempt to charge again – so pole or not I would still avoid as first option, however a useful tip for an emergency. Most poles are foldable and very light, so convenient to keep in one’s backpack.


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