Walking through a field of cattle can give walkers and walking groups a bit of trouble, they pose a risk of injury and can create worry for group members and leaders alike. These notes have been created, with the help of the Bannau Brychiniog National Park Authority and a cattle farmer, to help you better understand and manage this hazard.
Observe the cattle. Watch their body language, are they looking relaxed or agitated? Their body language is obvious; if agitated their eyes go wild, their head will be up and shaking, they will look on edge. Beef breeds like Highland cattle are much more relaxed than Dairy breeds.
Do they have young? Mothers can be exceptionally protective of very young calves, do not approach them!
Bulls. Always be careful around Bulls. Dairy bulls can be nasty, and other breeds can be hard to predict. You’ll mostly find beef breeds on footpaths. Horns are not gender specific.
If in doubt, find a different route.
Give cattle a wide birth, don’t worry about sticking to the Right of Way, give them space.
Walk calmly as a group, stick to the field boundary if appropriate. Never run.
Respect the cattle, they are big and have potential to cause injury, even when they don’t mean to.
Cows are inquisitive, you might be the most interesting thing that’s happened to them all day.
Face them and back away. A tap on their nose with a hand or walking pole will help let them know you’re the boss.
Give the cattle even more room.
Take dogs off the lead if approached, they will look after themselves if chased.