Stay safe in the countryside this Easter


We’ve teamed up with the NFU to remind people to take care when walking in fields with livestock this Easter.

Walking in spring brings with it the joys of seeing livestock rearing their young in the fields, but it’s also a time to take extra care and there are some basic tips walkers can follow to ensure your next countryside outing is as safe as possible – both for you and the animals you come across.

If out walking your dog in fields with cattle, avoid getting between cows and their calves and keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around both cows and sheep. If you are threatened by cattle, don’t hang on to your dog – it’s safer to let it go.

“In the spring it’s especially important for walkers to be sympathetic to farm animals rearing their young and give them space” says NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe. “If you feel threatened by animals protecting their territory or young do not run, move to the edge of the field, and if possible find another way round.”

“The countryside is a beautiful place to walk in” adds Sercombe. “However, it is a working environment where animals graze. So it’s important to take care and be mindful of your surroundings so you can fully enjoy the experience.”

We always recommend walkers follow the Countryside Code and Scottish Outdoor Access Code – which contain further advice on walking with dogs – in order to get the most from their countryside visit whilst respecting and protecting the natural environment.

For further safety information and tips to follow when walking near livestock and with dogs, visit our advice for walkers section.