Chris’s Story: a scary encounter with cows and a bull

On the 13th June, 2021, I was walking with a group along a footpath in Eaton Dale, near Alsop en le Dale, in the Peak District (Grid reference: SV 16978 55586)

We came to a field with a waterhole next to the gate. Did a check of the field before entering, and saw there were cows but did not see a bull or calves. They looked like dairy cows.

I entered the field with my dog and the other members of the party came in after. I walked as usual with my dog on a tight lead. I’ve done this countless times before without a problem, but these cows were more inquisitive than I’ve ever seen.

I crossed the field and came towards an open gate, but some of the herd moved quite quickly to get in front of me. It was about 150 metres to the next gate or fence – and the route back was blocked by more of the herd. I decided that the best course of action was to position myself and my dog behind the open gate as this offered some protection.

The bull then appeared in front of the gate and was about two metres away from me.

I tried to shoo the cattle away, but they would not move.

I called back to my wife and told her to leave the field, and tried to distract the cattle by banging on the gate. After about five minutes, the cows and the bull walked back through the gate into the adjacent field. I quickly shut the gate and ran in the opposite direction to the corner of the field and climbed over with my dog. Whilst I was running I could hear the herd running towards another open gateway into the field, and saw them enter the field again.

By then I had managed to return to the gate by the water hole – and reached safety.

Luckily nobody was hurt, and our dog was unharmed. There were plenty of options to reroute or temporary fence the field. There were no warning signs, and there should have been signage to warn people. There were a lot of kids doing the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, and using the route. I had to warn a group who were just about to enter the field after my incident.

Respondent ID: 252174871

Image by Andrea Don from Pixabay

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