Carol, Paul and Poppy: lucky to be alive

A few days ago, on the 24th October, we were attacked by cattle.

Paul and I went for a walk in Little Ribston Hall fields, keeping to the public footpaths and with our dog, Poppy, on her lead as advised on the gate. We walked past the sheep and over the bridge where we passed cows on either side of the concrete road (a public footpath) and had a wonderful walk.

On the way back, some of the cows were crossing the footpath, but there were around 50 cows still standing on either side of the path, so we could not walk around them. We were new to the estate and we had no idea of any other routes. We decided to keep Poppy on her lead as advised on notices and we kept to the path.

By the time we got closer, the cows had moved off the path… but they soon surrounded us, and began mooing and circling around us.

They managed to spilt me and Paul up. The cows were trying to trample Poppy, and Paul was going round in circles trying to keep her safe. One of the cows head butted Paul in the shoulder. I was screaming for help whilst holding on to the tree and screaming at Paul to pick up Poppy. No one could hear us as the cows were so loud.

Luckily Paul managed to get Poppy to the cattle grid and was going to tie Poppy up and come back for me. I shouted at him to stay with Poppy and I slowly let go of the tree. I did not look at the cows and walked slowly away, knowing cows were each side of me.

As soon as I could not see any cattle out of the corner of my eyes, I ran… and collapsed into Pauls arms.

When we looked back, we saw the cows had two calves with them in the field. I know that all they were doing was looking after their babies, and they were very angry at us for being in the field.

Paul had a bruised shoulder and later took cocodamol for pain. Luckily, Poppy was unharmed. Paul saved her life as the cows tried to trample her. She was terrified.

Later, I phoned Harrogate Borough Council, but they said it is nothing to do with them. It was up to us to call the land owner and report it. I did that, but the land owner just said he can graze cattle wherever he wants and ‘sorry it happened’. He also told us we should have let Poppy off her lead to run away. He said we should have found an alternative route on an ordinance survey map, but it was our first time walking in the area, and we did not know of any other route.

Even though it was a public footpath, the owner can apparently graze his cattle where he wants, but it would have been good if there were warning signs about the calves. We have learnt a very big lesson.

I just wanted to put this post on to warn others about this situation as we were both terrified. We are lucky to still be alive.


Respondent ID 256526757

Photo credit: Chris Heaton, image on Wikimedia, Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

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