Walker trampled to death by cattle in West Sussex

An 87-year-old woman has died after being trampled by cattle while walking on a public footpath in West Sussex.

Hilary Adair was knocked unconscious and suffered multiple head and facial injuries when she was attacked by a herd of Belted Galloways on 7 January.

She had been walking on Lynchmere Common, a community grazing site, near Haslemere in Surrey.

See also: Tips on staying legal with bulls and cows near footpaths

South East Coast Ambulance Service were called to the scene at 11.30am, soon joined by the air ambulance team.

Mrs Adair was treated by the crews before being airlifted to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London.

She did not regain full consciousness and died in hospital on 14 January.

A spokesman for Lynchmere Community Grazing confirmed the cattle had been on the common for more than four years, but following the incident were moved to a field without public access.

An inquest will be held into the circumstances that led to Mrs Adair’s death.

Advice for grazing cattle on land with public access:

  • Cows with young calves should not be kept in fields with public access.
  • Consider ways to separate animals from rights of way with physical means, such as temporary fencing.
  • Remove or cull animals that show signs of aggression. Do not keep “flighty” animals in fields with public access.
  • Check that paths are clearly marked and that fences are secure and well maintained. Site feed locations and troughs away from paths and stiles.
  • Take account of the influence of changing conditions, like the weather and increased footfall at holiday times.
  • Animals showing signs of aggression or distress when members of the public are present, especially if walking with dogs or children, should be moved to alternative fields.
  • Display signs when a bull is present.

Source: Health and Safety Executive