The Coleridge Way passes through any number of fields and some of these will contain livestock. While you are unlikely (or very unlucky) to mauled by a marauding sheep, cows are slightly more daunting. So what should you do when you encounter cows on the Coleridge Way

Cows are a big when you get up close to them, but they are docile animals and will either ignore you or move away when you walk by them. However, they can be curious, especially if you have a dog, and there have been occasions when cows have killed or injured people. However, before we all get paranoid, these accidents are extremely rare and millions of people go walking every week without any problems at all.

A few common sense precautions should ensure that your walk will be cow incident free …

Pictore of cows on the Coleridge Way

Use common sense around livestock

  • Avoid getting between cows and their calves and give them a wide berth
  • Keep your dog close, on a short lead, and under effective control
  • Keep noise down, move swiftly around them but do not run
  • Close all gates where livestock are kept (and in general)
  • If cattle are blocking the path, find an alternative route – even this is through another field
  • If cornered, and as a last resort, face the cows and shout and wave – although this is probably what you would do without being told.

Often cows will be more curious if you have a dog with you as they often see dogs as threats. Therefore, greater care should be taken when walking with your dog and it should kept under control, close and on a short lead. If the cows become too curious and start chasing you, let the dog go and the cows will invariably follow the dog. Dogs are good at getting out of scrapes – so don’t worry unduly.

If the cows are a problem and injure you or your dog then you should contact the HSE, the National Park/AONB Authority, the local Rights-of-Way officer or the police if the incident is serious.