East Yorkshire and Derwent Area Ramblers

walking to protect our local countryside

Walkers Safety

Risk from Cows

Advice to walkers is if you have a dog with you, keep it under close control, but do not hang on to it should a cow or bull start acting aggressively.

If you feel threatened, just carry on as normal, do not run, move to the edge of the field and if possible find another way round the field, returning to the original path as soon as is possible. And remember to close the gate."

It seems that the biggest risks are:

  • Walking with dogs
  • Walking near cattle who are with young calves. Their natural instinct is to protect their young - and you (especially with a dog in tow) - may be seen as an especially big threat.

So - if you are with a dog, avoid going through a field with cows at all. Although it may be inconvenient, it's probably better to consider finding another route. Be especially vigilant if you find yourself with your dog in a field with both cows and calves.

Even without a dog, try to keep quiet and move away calmly and out of the field as soon as possible. Try not to surprise the cows - remember that their line of vision is to the side and not straight in front.

If cows get too close, turning quietly to face them with arms outstretched is considered to be the best approach.

Advice from a farmer " Cows are curious animals, with or without calves, always take a walking stick with you, be confident, talk firmly to them and if they get too near stretch your arms and walking stick outwards to fill the maximum area (cows join up all the external points and so you suddenly become massive in their eyes)."

Additionally, Harry Whitehouse has offered the following useful points: -

'1 Two farmers have separately told me that cattle have a danger awareness border of about 30 feet. If someone is outside that border, the cattle will certainly take an interest in him, but they will not feel any real sense of nervousness or alarm unless he draws closer.

2 At a Ramblers workshop, we were told that Central Office has no recorded modern instance of walkers being threatened by cattle if (a) they are in a group of more than two people, and (b) they do not have a dog with them.

3 Dogs of all shapes and sizes are domesticated wolves. Cattle recognise them as a threat and their response is to mob the dog and try to trample it. The owner should release the dog from its lead so that it can escape, and draw the cattle away from the owner.'

First Aid signThe British Red Cross has produced for the Ramblers an advice sheet "First Aid - Tips for Walkers." To read it click FIRST AID



Tick Bites

We do lots of walking across a variety of terrains where we cannot always see whats underfoot. tick bitesIt is only certain infected ticks that bite and are not noticed clinging on to your skin, that usually cause Lyme disease. However, ticks are very small and often do not hurt when they bite. BBC magazine monitor recently featured a timely reminder - click TICK to read it.

It is quite easy to have a tick bite without noticing e.g. on your leg or back. Many people developing symptoms cannot remember being bitten by a tick.

Read more ...


Please be aware that all sporting and leisure activities have inherent
hazards associated with them and rambling is no exception.

Notwithstanding safety of members is always of paramount concern, accidents will occasionally occur.

Therefore, it is important that when entering into the activity, every participant appreciates they have a personal responsibility to identify and take all reasonable steps to eliminate or, minimise potential for an accident to arise.

Extra care must be taken when walking on or crossing roads. It is usual to face oncoming traffic and walk on the outside of bends in single file.

The rule is to follow the advice of the leader.

More guidance and general information is available on Ramblers website - click Safety

planet earth sosAlthough mobile ' phone usage is taken for granted, reception coverage is most effective and reliant in populated areas. Consequently, walkers should not place absolute reliance upon them when in remote or isolated areas, especially countryside, moorland and hills, as a signal may not be available.

Read more ...

Recent Safety Items

Personal Safety

Ramblers Central Office has devised an ICE [in case of emergency] card for use by members. It is laminated and supplies can be ordered by Group Secretaries. Click HERE for an example

Crossing Railway Tracks

In our area we have many rights of way that cross operational railway lines. Any recce should include an assessment of these high risk hazards when needing to cross such lines. Leaders must exercise extreme care and control of their group.

Network Rail produce a useful crossing safety leaflet. To view and download it click HERE

Animal Anxieties - Horses

We repeatedly advise of a need for care when walking near cows. A recent incident involving a Scarborough member being attacked by a horse is a reminder to take similar care when near equines. Harry Whitehouse of Ryedale Group has provided a brief report of the event. Click HERE to read it.


Walk Leaders Checklist and ICE card

Ramblers Central Office has recently published a revised Walk Leaders Checklist. Click HERE for a copy.

Also an ICE [in case of emergency] card for use by members.  Click HERE for an example.

Both are laminated and supplies can be ordered by Group Secretaries.