Rachel and Stephen Coates welcomed Baildon Walkers are Welcome to their farm at Low Springs on Tuesday 13 June 2017 and gave us good advice about walking through fields of cows. Here is some of their advice:

  • Walk calmly. Make some non-threatening noise such as continuing a conversation,  just to let them know you are there. Cows don’t see too well. Stick to official rights of way.
  • Milking cows are accustomed to being around people and if they approach you it is probably only out of inquisitiveness. Incidents where cows are aggressive to people are extremely rare.
  • Cows do not like sudden noises (e.g. helicopters or sirens) – so be extra cautious if there is such a noise when you are about to walk into their field.
  • Cows and bulls are colour-blind – so whatever colour you are wearing will have no effect.
  • Dogs should always be kept on a lead in a field of cows. They can worry the cows and make them unpredicatble, so if you are approaching a field of cows and see a dog is loose, you may wish to ask the owner to put it on a lead or wait until s/he and the dog have left the field.
  • Farmers have a duty of care to walkers as well as to their animals.
  • Bulls in a field with cows should not trouble walkers.
  • Bullocks are more unpredictable: be wary as they are excitable.
  • If cows or bullocks charge at you – make a loud noise and wave a stick at them to scare them off.
  • The animals will not deliberately crash into a wall – so walk near walls if you have the choice.
  • If you are walking in the direction of a farm, the animals may follow you because they are used to going this way for food or to be milked – nothing to worry about.
  • Never allow dogs to defecate in the fields as many dogs (unbeknownst to their owners) are carriers of a disease which can cause abortions in cows.
  • Never get between a cow and her calf.