About

Who we are

We are the COWS (Cows On Walkers Safety), a small group of walkers who have come together to raise awareness of the dangers posed by cattle. Some of us have been badly scared. Some of us have been badly injured. Some of us nearly died.

What we are not

We are not an official organisation. We have no funds and no political agenda. We do not represent farmers, lobbyists, or lawyers. We are not out to make money.

Why we are here

Our aim is to make our footpaths safer for walkers, across England and Wales, by reducing the risk posed by cattle.

How are we doing this?

We have collected information, research, statistics and personal stories, all in one place, to be used as a resource by walkers, by the media, and by anybody else interested in improving safety in our countryside.

  • Statistics are important to help persuade the authorities that this problem is larger and more common than they realise.
  • Stories are important to show that these events happen to ordinary people, people like you and me, who simply set out to enjoy the countryside.

What are we campaigning for?

  1. All farmers who keep livestock to carry personal liability insurance.
  2. All cattle to be separated from walkers on our National Trails.
  3. A central database, where all incidents of cattle aggression against walkers can be recorded across England and Wales.

How YOU can help.

We want to record the stories of people who have been scared or injured by cattle. Please, help us collect this information, and tell us your story, by taking a few minutes to fill in our reporting form.

Support our campaigns by raising the issue with relevant organisations and by spreading the word on social media.

If you want to join our COWS group and help with our work, please contact us via the contact form.

6 thoughts on “About

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  1. As a retired farmer I find your lack of knowledge amazing. All evidence shows that people attacked by cattle have gone among them with a dog on a lead then picked the dog up. If the dog is allowed to run free the cattle will follow and the dog is quite capable of out running cattle. Pick up the dog or stand between the cattle and the dog and you encourage them to focus on you.

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    1. Paul, please read some of the horror stories we’ve collected through our reporting facility on this website. Most people did NOT pick up their dog. In fact, I can’t remember a single case where they did. And many people (2/3 of our reports) were not walking with a dog at all. It’s nice to pick on simple solutions, but the problem is more complex than that.

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  2. I love walking but I’m petrified of cows so if I encounter them whilst on a walk,I always go around I never enter the field,people think I’m silly.i hope one day I’m not so scared and they don’t effect my walking

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    1. Hi Cherie, sorry to hear of your anxiety around cows. Most of the time, of course, most cattle are perfectly safe. But, as our stories demonstrate, there are rare occasions when cows turn into dangerous beasts. You are wise to try to avoid them.

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  3. Awful to read about people being trampled. Truley terrifying. However I don’t see what you can do tbh. Cows live in fields and footpaths cross fields. The cows are a farmers “crop” Are you proposing to compensate farmers for loss of grazing if their cows are moved or to pay for fencing? At the moment there is a hay shortage so it’s not like cattle can be kept in.

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    1. We’re certainly not suggesting cows should spend their lives indoors (as they do on intensive farms in the USA). However the HSE advice is to assess the risk posed by herds and segregate from walkers where possible. There are lots of things farmers can do – and some are very good at doing the right thing.
      For example, they can avoid putting cows with calves in fields crossed by footpaths. They can place feeding troughs away from footpaths, and certainly not near the only gate out of the field. They can provide alternative permissive routes through their farms to avoid cattle – there is a project in Cornwall that is doing this. And they can provide ‘escape’ routes out of fields by ensuring there are climbable fences and removing barbed wire.

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