Monday, 27 May 2013
Charged by cows
Having nearly completed a circular walk of Wild Bank Hill I decided to take a short cut back to Mottram Old Road as recommended by Bill from Walks in Tameside. The route I discovered by myself is nearly a mile longer and Bill's route is definitely better so that is the route I used.
When I reached the farmland at the lower edges of Wild Bank Hill I had to walk through a field of cows to get to Mottram Old Road. I had my brand new Nokia Lumia 920 with me and the cows presented themselves as ideal subjects to try out the phone's camera (the 920 is know to have an awesome camera) so I started taking pictures of a cow munching grass, while being careful to avoid the large bull nearby.
The cow did not seem unduly perturbed and the bull was totally indifferent so after having photographed the cow I carried on downwards towards the exit from the field.
As I was walking away from the cow which I had just photographed, it started mooing, it was then joined by other cows but not the bull. He remained on his own watching the spectacle as the cows started to gather to form a herd.
I have heard that cows can become aggressive towards walkers, but only when dogs are present. I had no dog with me, unless the invisible spirit of one of my deceased dogs was in tow so I did not think there was any reason to panic.
Slowly but surely the herd that had formed started walking towards to me and I though this was interesting so I decided to see how good the video capture on my new phone was and started filming as they walked towards me.
As I walked backwards filming, the herd increased their speed so I looked over my shoulder to double check how far the Mottram Old Road exit was, it was about a 400 metres and I thought if it come to it I could easily outrun them - I was wrong.
Soon their slow methodical walk had turned into a trot, and as they neared, I decided that in this situation discretion would be the better form of valour, and with that thought in mind I started to run. Next thing I have a full on stampede heading in my direction and the stampeding cattle were gaining quicker than I could run; this now becomes a life or death situation, seriously, they were gaining on me and they looked angry.
I knew I would never make it to the Mottram Old Road exit so I headed towards a small barbed wire fence which I quickly leapt with the stampede only yards behind. I was fearful that the fence would be no deterrent as the herd could have flattened it in seconds but luckily for me, they didn't. However they did wilfully form a cordon which prevented me from reaching the exit I had originally planned to use.
That was the end of the drama. The cows were not to blame, it was I who had trespassed into their field so I have no complaints there, but please do take this as a first hand account of the dangers a herd of cows can pose to casual walkers. If they decided to charge when I was in open country with no wall or fence to leap, I would have been flattened and that's a fact.