Walking with livestock
As you walk around Clumber Park, you may come across grazing animals. Please read these important tips which will help you enjoy your walk.
Most farm animals are kept indoors during the winter. For the first few weeks after being let outside, they can be full of the joys of spring and very inquisitive.
Try not to startle them and don’t run, as they may think that this is a great idea and decide to join you!
Small children should be kept close to you, as they may startle an animal accidently.
Whistle or talk to animals as you approach so that they know you are coming. If you then walk quietly past and away, the animals are more likely to ignore you.
They may be excited or frightened by large groups of people among them, so try to keep group members calm and quiet as you pass.
Think ahead. Don’t allow yourself to become cornered by a group of cattle. They may be curious and cows pushing from the back could cause those in front to panic if they are forced too close to you.
Do not get between mothers and their young. Most mothers are protective of their young and will be very dangerous if you come between them.
Farm animals are not pets. Do not feed or stroke them. They may begin to think that all humans are bringing them food and approach everyone they see.
If you want to take a photograph, have your camera ready before you get to them, as they may think your rucksack has food in it if you open in in front of them.
If you find cattle blocking your way, clap your hands loudly as you approach and they should move out of your way. If not, leave the path and go round them.
DOGS AND LIVESTOCK
AT CLUMBER PARK, DOGS MUST BE KEPT ON LEADS AT ALL TIMES WHEN IN AREAS GRAZED BY LIVESTOCK:
- Cattle may see your dog as a threat and try to attack! Keep dogs on leads unless approached by cattle in which case, let go of your dog’s lead. It will run away and meet you further along. Do not pick your dog up as the animals may still try to get close to it.
- Keep your dog on a lead. Never allow your dog to chase livestock! It causes distress and may result in a serious injury. Remember – landowners and graziers are lawfully permitted to shoot dogs worrying or about to worry any livestock.
Why do we have grazing animals?
Livestock grazing has played an enormous part in shaping the landscape we all enjoy today. These are some of the many benefits:
- Grazing can allow a wider variety of plants, fungi, animals and particularly insects to thrive
- Insects that depend upon livestock grazing provide a food source vital to the survival of birds such as swallows and lapwings
- Views are brought to life by farm animals moving around a landscape
- It reminds us that the living countryside is a source of our food and employment
- Using farm animals to maintain wildlife habitats is more sustainable and cost-effective than the use of machines over the long term
- Done properly, grazing can help reveal and to protect the archaeological features that show how the land has been managed in times past
Remember, Be- plean ahead and follow any signs
Keep dogs under close control. Remember that, whilst you may think your dog is ok around livestock, the livestock may see your dog as a threat.
Leave gates and property as you find them.
Protect plants and animals – take your litter home with you.