While the English countryside is generally a safe and relaxing place to hike, tragically a woman has died after being trampled by stampeding cattle. The incident occurred along the popular Pennine Way in Yorkshire on Sunday. The victim was crossing a field in which there was a herd of cattle, a common enough occurrence on English country walks. The cattle apparently panicked at the sight of her two dogs and attacked.
This is the second such death in as many years. Last year a woman was killed in Suffolk in the same manner, and two weeks ago former Home Secretary David Blunkett was injured by a cow after it was startled by Blunkett’s seeing eye dog.
Late spring and early summer are popular times for hiking in England, but it is also the time of year that cattle give birth to calves and will become aggressive if they think their young are threatened. As I continue my series on English country walks, keep in mind that hiking always has its dangers and check out these safety precautions from the Ramblers, England’s premiere hiking organization. For cattle, it recommends that you should never get between a cow and her calf, and if they go after your dog, to let it off the leash. The dog can generally get away and the cows will go after the animal, allowing you a chance to escape.