Health and safety information
Cattle Grazing for Conservation
Visitors and dogs are very welcome at Langley Mead at all times of the year.
You are also welcome to let your dog off the lead, and there are no restrictions to this.
Langley Mead is however grazed seasonally by a small herd of traditional breed beef cattle (without calves), as this is essential to the maintenance of the conditions needed for wildlife and biodiversity, and the promotion of an attractive naturalistic environment.
The cattle here are a docile breed that are used in many places around the country without issue, to graze publicly accessible nature reserves. Although docile, they are big animals, so please act responsibly in the vicinity of grazing cattle, specifically:
- Do not try to feed the cattle;
- Do not chase the cattle;
- If you have a dog with you, try to avoid walking through cattle if possible. Dogs will be familiar to the cattle at Langley Mead, but they will be more wary of dogs than of people – find an alternative route (there will only be a small number of cattle on site at any one time) or wait for them to move on, and do not allow your dog to chase or worry the cattle;
- If you need to walk through cattle, avoid startling them by letting them know that you are there by talking to them gently. Only proceed once they have seen you, stay within their sight, and walk through the group quickly but calmly;
- Give cattle a chance to move out of the way before proceeding – particularly if they get up when you approach;
- Cattle are naturally inquisitive – if they approach you to investigate, do not panic and run away, as they may run to keep up with you – they will normally stay at a safe distance if you keep eye contact and remain calm.
- If you feel threatened, be confident but do not try to appear aggressive. Raise your voice (but do not shout), and hold your arms out to the sides to make yourself look bigger. Do not attempt to frighten the cattle away, otherwise they may panic;
- If you are with a dog and cattle chase you, it is safer to let go of your dog’s lead and let it run away. Dogs are usually much faster and better able to escape than people. Do not put yourself at risk trying to protect your dog.
- If you see anyone interfering with cattle, or an animal that looks unwell, please inform the Ranger by calling the Freephone number 0800 028 5485