On the 30th of May, 2022, I was walking my dogs on a lead along a public right of way, between the village and Dalton (map reference DL11 7EX). It was 8:30am.
Cattle were behind me and 50 yards to the south when I entered the field. After I’d walked about 20 yards, they started following me. I stopped and they surrounded me and the dogs. I shouted at them for about 5 or 6mins and it looked like that was having an effect.
However, some older cows joined them and they got aggravated and aggressive – moving closer to me. I released the two dogs who barked at them and they ran away, only to swoop round as a herd and charge back towards me.
I had nowhere to go. The cattle were in front, and I had a beck and 5ft hawthorn hedge behind me. I was very, very scared.
I ran into the water and tried to go under the hedge – but was prevented due to a wire fence on the other side. I managed to kick and climb my way over the hedge, with the dogs following. My arms and legs are covered in bruises and small cuts. Once on the other side of the hedge, I was safe.
Luckily, the dogs were unharmed.
There were warning signs at the entrance to the field, in essence telling you to keep your dog on a lead, because if it worries cattle the farmer may have to shoot your pet.
I have reported the incident to the farmer, but am not sure who else to report it to. I think the farmer has a responsibility for ensuring that public right of ways are safe for walkers
Respondent ID: 264182153
We are very sorry to hear about this frightening incident. Glad you managed to escape.
Yes, farmer’s do have a responsibility to ensure that any public-right-of-way that crosses their land is safe. This includes making a risk assessment of the danger to the public posed by cattle in the same field. You can report these incidents to the Health and Safety Executive, who may or may not take it seriously if nobody was badly injured. And you can report it to the local authority responsible for footpaths in the area. The local Ramblers group might also be interested.
You can find more information on how to report an incident to these various organisations at the bottom of this page: https://killercows.co.uk/page/