Stay Safe In The Countryside Walking With Cattle

The Great British countryside is wonderful to explore in the summer due to it's wide variety of habitats and its wonderful network of paths. What sometimes is forgotten though is it is also a working environment, and you may come in contact with livestock. This in itself is not a problem if you heed the following advice:

  • Young calves are naturally inquisitive and will want to investigate what you are. They do look intimidating in a herd, but they are more scared of you than you should be of them. 
  • Cows are protective of their calves, like any mother is with their babies.Try and avoid getting between them.
  • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd. Do not try and pet them.
  • Keep your dog on a short leash and close control around sheep and cattle if no alternative route is possible. 
  • If you are threatened, let go of your dogs leash. Do not try and protect it as dogs have quicker reflexes and will naturally try and get out of trouble. 
  • Don’t put yourself at risk. If there is another way around the cattle close to a hedge then take it and rejoin the footpath as soon as possible
  • Don’t panic or run as most cattle will stop before they reach you.
  • If you feel confident enough, you can turn and clap your hands and shoo them away.
  • Please ensure you close the gates properly when entering and exiting a field. 
  • Tell the landowner and highway authority about any attacks or frightening incidents and contact the Health & Safety Executive and Police if it’s of a serious nature.


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