Outdoor Matters


Cattle Guidance  


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 – Give Space – Stay Calm

Before you enter the field:

  • 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.

Walking through:

  • 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.

When approached:

  • 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.

If you have a dog with you:

  • Give the cattle even more room.

  • Take dogs off the lead if approached, they will look after themselves if chased.