Eyes and ears on the paths

A benefit to landowners of having public paths across their land is that the paths’ users are eyes and ears.

There is a flock of sheep and young lambs in the field behind our house at Turville in the Chilterns.  The field is crossed by Ibstone footpath 5.

snow lambs

Sheep and lambs on a snowy morning

On Saturday night there was a heavy fall of snow and unfortunately some lambs must have been smothered in snow and suffocated;  there were corpses along the top hedge on Sunday morning.  In the evening there was a lamb, in a bad way but still alive, lying among the corpses by the hedge.  I saw it because I was walking the footpath.  I ran home and contacted the farmer who came out and rescued it.

It’s the same in other places.  The excellent Dartmoor Livestock Protection Officer, Karla McKechnie, writes in the annual report of the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society how walkers and riders on the Dartmoor commons spot problems with livestock and phone her.  She then contacts the owner, or goes out herself to tend to the animal.  Many a life has been saved as a result of people out and about, on access land and paths.

Injured pony near Whiteworks, Dartmoor, 2016

Injured pony near Whiteworks on Dartmoor, 2016

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About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Chilterns, Dartmoor, Dartmoor livestock, Open country, Public paths, riding, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Eyes and ears on the paths

  1. bevm1066 says:

    Kate
    Whilst walking on Sunday mornings we have “rescued” sheep on several occasions…
    Once in a very remote location a sheep had its head caught between some hawthorn hedge trunks, unable to move forwards or backwards. Fortunately three of us were able to prise the trunks apart and release it.
    On another occasion we found a sheep with its front legs in a water trough but unable to get out; this one took four of us: one on each leg to lift it, whilst violently kicking its back legs, out of the trough and it then happily ran away! (No real danger to humans since we planned very carefully knowing it would resist before we carried out that rescue.)

  2. Janice Bridger says:

    Not something that is often referred to by land managers who often seem to see the negative side to rights of way.

  3. John Bainbridge says:

    Lost count of the number of sheep I’ve hauled out of bogs.

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