Jun 17 2022

Safety around Cattle

Hi everyone – following a recent (minor) incident involving our colleagues and cattle we wanted to remind you of some sensible precautions – especially as many cattle now have calves at foot. 


The Ramblers Association gives the following sound advice:


“The countryside is a working environment and it’s important to be mindful and respectful of farms and farm animals, particularly during spring when cattle are rearing their young.


Here’s some advice from our experts on what do when walking near cattle:



  • Stop, look, and listen on entering a field. Look out for any animals and watch how they are behaving, particularly bulls or cows with calves
  • Try to avoid getting between cows and their calves
  • Be prepared for cattle to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you
  • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible, walk around the herd
  • Keep your dog close on a short lead, and under effective control
  • Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock
  • Report any frightening incidents or attacks to the landowner, the highway authority, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), and also the police if it’s of a serious nature




  • Don’t hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle – let it go as the cattle will chase the dog and not you
  • Don’t put yourself at risk by walking close to cattle
  • Don’t panic or run – most cattle will stop before they reach you, if they follow just walk on quietly


Cattle on your path


So, what do you do when cattle are obstructing the path? Find another way, by going around the cattle. If cattle are blocking a path through a field, you’re well within your rights to find a safe way, away from the path to avoid them. You should then re-join the footpath as soon as possible – and when you consider it safe to do so.”


The risks of livestock are also managed by our relevant Generic Risk Assessments for work activities – please revisit your own safe ways of working as you feel necessary if you need advice please get in touch with us at volunteering@woodlandtrust.org.uk

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