Be considerate of livestock when walking in Derbyshire

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Walkers are being reminded to play it safe when it comes to wandering through the Derbyshire countryside this spring.

As the warmer weather tempts more people to put on their hiking boots and explore the outdoors, Derbyshire County Council is reminding people to be mindful of farm animals when out walking, especially when a path enters a field or they are crossing open access land.

Communities chief Mike Ashworth said: “Derbyshire has lovely countryside and we want walkers to be able to enjoy it whilst staying safe and following the Countryside Code. At this time of year cows are often rearing their young and can become very territorial. People and dogs can easily spook cows and their calves so it is important to give them space.

“Most importantly we don’t want anyone to put themselves or the livestock at risk. If necessary they should find another way around the cattle and re-join the path as soon as possible.“

Advice from the Derby and Derbyshire Local Access Forum (DADLAF) on keeping safe includes-

• 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 around the herd

• Keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep

• If you are threatened by cattle let your dog go to allow it to run to safety

• Don’t panic or run. Most cattle will stop before they reach you. If they follow, walk on quietly.

Incidents should be reported to the landowner and to the police if it is of a serious nature. Derbyshire County Council should also be informed by emailing etc.prow@derbyshire.gov.uk or calling 01629 533262.