Staying safe in Calderdale’s countryside

Calderdale view

Spring is now hopefully truly underway and many people will be out and about enjoying the countryside and the extensive network of public rights of way in Calderdale.

Farmers have also endured a long winter and their livestock including cattle and calves will also soon be appearing in the fields.

Calderdale Council would like to remind walkers that cattle can be very protective of their young. The following advice on staying safe when passing through fields containing livestock is important to follow, particularly at this time of year:


  • Stop, look and listen on entering a field. Look out for any animals and watch how they are behaving, particularly bulls or cows with calves.
  • Be prepared to take an alternative route.
  • Try to 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, and if possible walk around the herd
  • Keep your dog close, on a short lead, and under effective control
  • Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock
  • Report any frightening incidents or attacks to the landowner, the highway authority, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), and also the police if it’s of a serious nature


  • Don’t hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle – let it go as the cattle will chase the dog and not you
  • Don’t put yourself at risk by walking close to cattle
  • Don’t panic or run – most cattle will stop before they reach you; if they follow just walk on quietly.

Calderdale Council’s Assistant Director – Strategic infrastructure, Steven Lee, said:

“Calderdale has a network of around 2000 paths including 125 miles of bridleways.  As the weather improves, more and more people enjoy using these on days out walking in Calderdale’s beautiful countryside.

“While a day out in the fresh air is lovely, it’s also important to remember that some footpaths are in fields which, at times, are used by livestock. To ensure that country walks are safe and enjoyable, follow The Countryside Code and take care, particularly when walking near cattle.”

For further advice or to report an incident, please contact Calderdale Council highways department at

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