The Cows Have Gone

A couple of months ago, a herd of cattle was placed on Hoe Rough by a local farmer. This is done in conjunction with the Wildlife Trust, who like the natural way the cattle eat lots of the unwanted scrub grasses. They also churn up the ground, allowing some other plants to seed, presumably.

But for my walks with Ollie, this is bad news. Once the cattle are there, it is not a good idea to wander around with a dog. Not that Ollie would take any notice of them, but they might well be alarmed by his presence. Cows can run at up to 28 m.p.h., and for a long distance. They can outpace almost any human runner, and certainly beat me in a race. If alarmed, they might also trample Ollie, causing him grievous injury.

As cows kill more people than any other animal here in Britain, I keep away from them at all times.

I heard today that the cows had gone. They have presumably been removed to provide succulent joins of beef for the coming Christmas season.

For the first time in weeks, I could take Ollie over to his second-favourite stomping ground. Once through the gate, he was visibly excited, spinning in circles as I took his lead off. And then he was off, ready to sniff anything and everything he hadn’t been able to sniff for so long.

Unfortunately, the recent heavy rains and the presence of the cows had left the side paths deep in sticky mud, some eight inches deep. Even in my new boots, it was hard going, and made the walk more difficult than usual. But Ollie was so happy, I slogged on for a few circuits of the area.

By the time we got back, the sun was setting, and I had a tired dog ready for a nap.

67 thoughts on “The Cows Have Gone

  1. Sounds like a wonderful day, in spite of the mud. I’m glad Ollie could enjoy one of his favorite spots. I had no idea that cows kill more people in Britain than any other animal. Interesting. Best to you, Pete

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thinking back to when I was a kid I used to wonder through fields with cows almost every day walking dogs, I dont think I would be so brave nowadays. Luckily for me (not the cows) cows here are tethered, no walls or fences to keep them in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard about a local farmer being crushed by a cow three years ago. (He later died of his injuries) His farm is only in the next road to where I live. I thought if a dairy farmer can get killed by his own animal, I had best be wary of them.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a great respect for cattle on a field too, Pete. Glad to see that Ollie could have a good run despite the mud.
    Wishing the three of you a cosy weekend. A big pat for dear Ollie. x πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I bet the place was full of wonderful smells for Ollie! I don’t share your wariness of cows and don’t mind being in a field with them (I don’t have a dog) but not if they have calves as they become very protective.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If it’s of any consolation, at all (and might not be), the strict rotation of grazing animals on land in need of restoration and/or keeping it going strong, is a going thing, here, in USA based Great Plains – – once fences went up and humans built towns/became more populated, the regular ecosystems that kept nature going, rather got messed up – –

    So, I’m just saying, done correctly, on rotational basis, and monitoring the health of things, is, of benefit to natural ecosystems impaired by human interventions (buildings, fences, etc.).

    Thus, in my mind, you and Ollie’s challenges and missed opportunities are appreciated, at a deep ground level – though you may not know it – πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pete, in Napa Valley, the world famous restaurant The French Laundry has a huge garden across the street, where they grow most of the herbs and vegetables they serve inside…one year, they got special permission to put 5 goats on the northern edge of the property, filled with bushes and weeds…they stayed for two months and cleaned it all up…and gained a lot of weight in the process!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Local farmers put signs on gates of fields where there are bulls loose. They are usually on their own, and often huge! But even a small herd (8-10) of cattle can be very dangerous if they decide to ‘crowd’ you.
      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. Section 59 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 bans the keeping of bulls in fields crossed by a right of way, unless they are under the age of 10 months or not of a recognised dairy breed, provided they’re accompanied by cows or heifers (young female cows). Recognised dairy breeds are Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry. I have never seen a sign around here and I have seen some huge bulls!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. (1) Rather than use cattle to churn up the ground, can’t they just take a rough hoe to Hoe Rough?
    (2) The cattle saw Hoe Rough as their stomping ground. They were always looking for unsuspecting dogs to stomp. Since Ollie sees Hoe Rough as his “second-favourite stomping ground,” I have to wonder what unsuspecting critters he hopes to stomp…
    (3) “Cows can run at up to 28 m.p.h., and for a long distance.” Say, from Abilene to Kansas City? I’m asking for a cowboy friend of mine.
    (4) “…the cows had left the side paths deep in sticky mud…” Some of those mud pies may actually be cow pies.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m reminded of a song:

        Where have all the cattle gone?
        Long time grazing
        Where have all the cattle gone?
        Short time ago
        Where have all the cattle gone?
        Gone to slaughter every one
        When will they ever learn?
        When will they ever learn?

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Good for you two. I remember walking through a footpath in England that went through a field of cows. There was one that was separated and I swear it had Mad Cow disease. It was unnerving listing to an alarmed cow. I can understand your reluctance to take Ollie to a cow pasture.

    Liked by 1 person

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