One of my favourite walks along the Cotswold Way needs a somewhat risky undertaking to both life and limb, not necessarily to me but to Moss my collie. We have to confront about 40 odd bullocks grazing in a very large field of about 50 acres. Not exactly a field more a steep sided small valley with a large wood at the bottom. It has in it the remains of an old trackway that went from the Brockham Roman site in the Langridge parish across the great valley that the A46 traverses in a north south direction, to Charmy Down and Solsbury Hill.
Three weeks ago was our first encounter, Moss had jumped over the great stone stile into the field and immediately flew back again, when I climbed up the steps I could see why, a dozen or more black and brown faces on the other side. Chiding him for being a coward, I took the opposite direction on the trackway hoping to loop round the cattle, of course they followed, charging poor old Moss with me swearing at them, but this detour did lead me to discover a rock strewn stream emerging from the hillside, and we did eventually reach the safety of a gate.
Once more yesterday deciding to take this particular walk, the cattle happily were still far down at the bottom of the hill, but of course these devious creatures were there to meet us on the way back. Fooling them was easy I just walked on the other side of of some barbed wire fence in the 'quarry' field, and they followed and mooed on the other side, I only had to cross a few yards to the stile and Moss just jumped over a stone wall further on. The sad thing was that some of this wall had been knocked down, obviously by people also frightened by the bullocks.
Knocking down stone walls by walkers is hardly going to make the farmer happy, but as this pathway is part of the Cotswold Way some solution should be arrived at so that walkers can get past these creatures without having to scramble under barbed wire or knock down walls.
The view of another small valley along this walk.