Stay safe walking in the countryside

10 April 2017

As spring gets underway, we're reminding residents to take extra care when out exploring the countryside in fields where there are farm animals.


Local residents and visitors to the area need to be aware of their surroundings especially when a path enters a field or they are crossing open access land.

Our Strategic Director for Economy, Transport and Communities 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) can help to keep people and livestock safe:

  • 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.

Any incidents should be reported to the landowner and to the police if it is of a serious nature. You should also inform us, email: etc.prow@derbyshire.gov.uk or tel: 01629 533262.

The DADLAF guidance along with advice for farmers and landowners is available on our website.

DADLAF was set up by us and Derby City Council in 2003 to give advice on outdoor recreation, rights of way and access to the countryside. It covers all of Derbyshire to the south and east of the Peak District National Park. The national park and the area of the county in the north west around Buxton and Glossop is covered by the Peak District Local Access Forum (opens in a new window)

DADLAF is looking for people with an interest in the great outdoors to sign up as volunteers with the forum. Land managers, forestry and farming representatives would be particularly welcome.