A Tale of Three Walks: close encounters with cattle.

  1. Rod’s story

On the 9th August, 2020, I was walking along a public footpath in Norton village, near Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire (grid reference TL 23241 34541). I was on my own and didn’t have a dog with me.

I noticed the cows as I was walking through the footpath, but they were in a far corner and peacefully grazing. As I reached around midway through the field they began moving towards me. They then blocked my path and one ran towards me. I put my hands up and talked calmly, backing away slowly. They continued pursuing me. I fell over while walking backward and the same one approached again. I ended up backing back to the gate and leaving the field.

My main worry would be if that footpath was used by children, or families with children who didn’t know how to behave around cattle, this incident could have ended much worse.

Respondent ID: 240210409

2. A couple’s story

On the 9th August, 2020, we were walking on a public footpath near Brailsford, Derbyshire, in a field just southwest of the Post Office.

We saw a group of black bullocks standing in the field, so decided to give them a wide berth (c. 70 metres). We have been through this field before, but the cattle have either all been lying down or have been in another part of the field c. 250 metres away. However, today they were standing up.

I noticed that very soon they started walking purposefully towards us. I would estimate that there were approximately 15-20 animals.

I ran to the gate, but my wife isn’t as quick. She picked up a stick, which she waved at them in order to keep them at bay. I went back to help her, and started shouting and screaming at the bullocks to provide a decoy. This helped to distract them, and to allow my wife to get to the gate too.

It was very frightening, especially for my wife.

We did report the incident to the police. Ideally, we’d the cattle to be moved somewhere else so that they are no longer a nuisance to those using a public footpath. Failing that, some warning signs MUST be put up if the farmer doesn’t wish to face prosecution.

Respondent ID: 240210310

3. CS’s story

On the 19th August, 2020, I was walking along a public footpath near Morton, Derbyshire (Grid Reference SK 40048 60921). I was on my own in the field, with my two dogs on a lead.

One of the cows in the field took a dislike to us and started stomping and huffing. Then it got ready to charge!

The herd cornered us. I had to climb through a barbed wire fence to escape, as unable to find another way to safety. The dogs were unharmed, but I had some scratches and bruises.

Respondent ID: 240476237

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