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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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Cows
- Jayne (9th Jan 2022 - 22:55:52)

Walking through the woods off Highfield Lane has now morphed into a game of “omg please don’t let me come across the cows!” I didn’t realise Lynchmere Common stretched this far?!

I understand it’s to do with conservation of the heathland but they can literally be anywhere in the woods within the cattle grids. Evidently they are docile but I can’t help thinking this is another accident waiting to happen. Runners, cyclists, walkers with dogs, walkers without dogs.... you turn a corner and there’s a dozen cows in front of you. At least in a field they can be seen from a distance and so avoided if you’re not a cow fan. One started to follow me today, inquisitive I guess, but I’m just not comfortable with walking through a herd of cows - and I don’t even have a dog!

Am I overthinking this?!

Re: Cows
- James (9th Jan 2022 - 23:33:34)

You live in the countryside... there's going to be cows.

Re: Cows
- Ian (10th Jan 2022 - 07:00:08)

Walk somewhere else then!

Re: Cows
- D (10th Jan 2022 - 09:07:32)

You were stalked by a cow?

Re: Cows
- Jayne (10th Jan 2022 - 09:14:54)

James, Ian - wow, thanks for those constructive and eloquent comments.

Re: Cows
- dave (10th Jan 2022 - 09:43:54)

Jayne, if you are not comfortable walking where there are cows, then don't walk where there are cows. Its not as if the area is shortage of good walking country in the area. Your reaction to reactions does come across a bit precious as well.

Re: Cows
- Anon (10th Jan 2022 - 09:53:18)

I’ve come across these at Marley, Bramshott and Longmoor/Weavers over the years and never had any issues. I appreciate there was an incident recently and they can look a little intimidating, the key is to be calm and confident around them. Jayne try walking with an authority stick, that should make you feel safer.

Re: Cows
- D (10th Jan 2022 - 10:06:29)

So long as you weren't followed by a bull.

Re: Cows
- Jen (10th Jan 2022 - 12:37:09)

I'm rather nervous of cows too and I think it's wise to be cautious around them. They are large animals that can be dangerous to people if provoked.
My advice is:-
Always give cows a wide berth (at least 5 metres) when walking past them.
Avoid walking through the centre of a group of cows.
Never walk between a cow and her calf.
Don't take a dog with you on a walk where you might have a close encounter with cows.
Don't make any sudden movements or loud noises when near cows.

Re: Cows
- Joe (10th Jan 2022 - 12:40:20)

An incident? Someone died! I have always had problems because I walk with a dog and even keeping him on a lead makes no difference I am always stampeded by them if a large group is together. Good job I can run fast!

Re: Cows
- er (10th Jan 2022 - 12:42:27)

From the horses mouth.

It's all too easy to become unnerved by animals, I wish dog walkers would realise this, we don't all feel comfortable having Rufus galumphing up to us at 20mph with wet paws, drooling gums and yellow teeth, barking like it's lunchtime. 'he's really friendly with most people, just ignore him, don't move at all and he'll let go of you're coat when he's ready, he's a pedigree, ha ha, he only wants to play, good boy, isn't he so cute!''.

Exagerated grins, waves and then back to our mobile devices, all too lovely in the country, except in London you'd have to go get your homies and 'sort it out'!!

Cows thankfully are usually less excited to see us.

Some cows do attack in packs, especially if they're hungry, although I'm not sure these forest ones do. Or maybe that's wolves, not sure on that, in my school they never taught the subleties of country living beyond the Peasants Revolt and the Industrial Revolution.

The authority stick is a good idea, it worked for my old headmaster. If they run at you, quickly stick it in their mouths so they can't bite. It worked in our inner city Comp in the 70s, so I guess it could work for cows too. Either way don't let them get up a tree, if they do threaten them with detention. As for bears, poke them in the eye, or punch them on the nose or maybe that's sharks? If all else fails, run (or is that stand still and wave your stick?) Hope it's helped and good luck!

Re: Cows
- Anon (10th Jan 2022 - 14:23:12)

Don’t mock the stick, our boys would never have left the trenches without it in World War One

Re: Cows
- passfield resident (10th Jan 2022 - 17:01:57)

Weird thread. I've walked through herds of cows having to push them out of the way to get past. It's painfully obvious whether they are calm (usually) or agitated (sometimes when a dog is near them) . I would avoid being in a confined space near them because they are big and clumsy, but they aren't in general a danger to walkers.This thread reminds me of people who move to the countryside and are appalled when they see a rat in their garden.

Re: Cows
- joe (10th Jan 2022 - 17:38:40)

I will elaborate- my dog was on the lead being walked calmly, we were walking around the edge of a huge field furthest away from the herd of cows the cows galloped from way over the other side of the field, I was
not walking anywhere near when they galloped for us, so I had to run to the stile. There were at least 15 cows so the stick idea would not have worked as they ran towards me.

Re: Cows
- Jayne (10th Jan 2022 - 19:19:27)

As the original poster I think I’ll clarify a few points:

1. I’ve walked in those woods for 25 years and only recently come across cows, they’re a recent introduction
2. I have never lived anywhere else but the countryside
3. I don’t have a dog
4. Almost 3 years ago to the day a lady was killed on Lynchmere Common by the same breed of cows
5. New signage as you enter the common access land states dog walkers should let their dogs off the lead should cows approach presumably to improve your chances of survival should they become spooked
6. It’s not usual to have cows wandering around woodland
7. The incident that I experienced was on the path near the pond where I was trapped between fenced field and cattle.

I’ll continue to walk in this area as I’ve come to the conclusion that the cows are a friendlier bunch than many of the posters on this thread.

Namaste

Re: Cows
- I (10th Jan 2022 - 19:20:25)

These newbies tend to think of animals in Disney terms!

Re: Cows
- D (11th Jan 2022 - 07:16:13)

Are any of the areas mentioned within the South Downs National Park? Maybe they run courses on how to behave near cows. It's asking for trouble to be anywhere near a cow with a dog, lead or not. (Lead as in dog lead, not lead as in the metal with the chemical symbol Pb.) Maybe the cows Joe experienced had been spooked by something near them which he couldn't see, and were actually running away from something and not towards him. He just happened to be in their path at the time.

Re: Cows
- Joe (11th Jan 2022 - 10:04:04)

No D nothing had spooked the cows it was a bucolic summer’s day in a peaceful field they had spotted me from way across the corner of the field and chased ME and my on the lead dog. A person died do not forget.

Re: Cows
- C (11th Jan 2022 - 11:42:39)

Hi Jayne - just to reassure you, not everyone on here is unfriendly. Thought your post was well reasoned and well intentioned. Sadly a few people just use this site to start an argument - any excuse. Don't let the negative few get you down :-)

Re: Cows
- er (11th Jan 2022 - 12:00:08)

So it's clear cows do attack, stamped or whatever as the OP and others now have testified, I've seen it myself with herds of Fresian charging along a field, luckily I was outside walking along the road, but it was a heck of a sight, wouldn't have wanted to be in the field when that happened, they can move pretty quick when they're not eating or pooing!

My question is, bearing in mind that it's necessary to share spaces with them, what should you do if they come towards you, brave it and carry on, run, turn back, climb a tree, talk to them?

Any sensible ideas would be appreciated from someone who knows, preferably a farmer. (I liked the authority stick by the way).

Re: Cows
- MJR (11th Jan 2022 - 12:56:31)

The following link to the Ramblers Web site is useful:-
ramblers.org.uk/advice/safety/walking-near-livestock

The following web site is also useful:-

countrysider.co.uk/pets-and-wildlife/how-to-walk-safely-through-a-cattle-field

Hope this is helpful

Re: Cows
- Rm (11th Jan 2022 - 16:14:23)

Another good place is to watch farming programs on the television country wise ect . You will see how farmers handle animals. Most animals will respond to being talked to including cows . You must also show your authority with animals. Most will be more frightened of you if you wave your arms and shout . You have to be very careful in the countryside if you are not familiar with country ways this is becoming more of a problem with people coming out of the cities and not knowing about the rural laws . But saying that most people are very good and abide by the country code.

Re: Cows
- Clare (11th Jan 2022 - 17:38:27)

You are right to be wary and respectful of cattle Jayne.

“Between March 2000 and March 2020, The Health and Safety Executive reported that 98 people were killed in cattle attacks in the UK.”

22 of these were members of the public ( the others were agricultural workers)

I try and avoid them if they have calves and also on windy days which seems to excite them!,

The HSE state the following:
Remember, if you have fields with rights of way or other permitted public access, make sure:

you do not keep bulls of recognised dairy breeds in fields with footpaths;
you assess the temperament of any cattle kept in fields with public access, and remove from the group any with a history of aggression, or that may be aggressive because of illness, young calves etc;
if you keep beef stock bulls in such fields, that they are accompanied by female stock and you put up suitable signs;
you consider whether it is reasonably practicable to temporarily fence rights of way so that cattle cannot access them.”

If you are concerned about the behaviours of any animal contact the landowner.

Re: Cows
- Joe (11th Jan 2022 - 19:31:08)

It is not always practical when being stamped by a herd of cows to wave arms and shout as my dog would not stay calm and that is the reason I was being stampeded. It is easy to give advice from a keyboard but a lady was killed who had lived in the countryside all her life. It is very easy to assume that only “ townies” are involved.

Re: Cows
- Maggie (11th Jan 2022 - 20:46:31)

Even farmers have been killed by cows.

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