My Crazy Morning Routine

May 31, 2016
The morning routine!
Everybody has one. Some people's morning routines are definitely more hectic than others. For example if you have a child...or several children. I do not have a child...or children so I consider myself lucky at the moment to have quite a chilled out morning routine.
I don't know why, but I really enjoy reading about other peoples' morning routines. I think it's probably because I'm really nosey. I also really love seeing pictures of the inside of other peoples' homes. Anybody else like that?'s a minute by minute account of what generally happens in the morning in this little stone cottage in Northumberland.

06:30 - The alarm goes off and Rick gets up. He slowly pulls his clothes on and wonders about the bedroom trying to wake up, while I watch him from the folds of the duvet, still snuggly. He then goes down stairs and wakes Bosun up to take him out for his morning walk. I'm joking. Bosun's already awake (because he's heard Rick walking about upstairs) and is bouncing up and down ready for Rick to walk down the stairs. I then listen to *bang* *thump* "owww! calm down for gods sake!" for a few minutes, and then the back door opens and closes and I have another half an hour in bed. That's probably the most relaxing half an hour of the entire day. I love it.

07:00 - I spring cheerily from between the sheets and embrace the day. Ahem. There is no reluctant dragging involved. I open the curtains to flood the bedroom with light...and open the window if it's a nice day. I really love the house to smell of fresh air if possible so I like to leave a window open for a few hours. I then head to the bathroom and this is where it really gets exciting.

07:10 - I wash my face with Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash Gel 150 ml in the bath. I used to use the sink, but I found that it really wasn't practical. Leaning over the bath leaves so much more elbow room for scrubbing, splashing and drying. Seriously, try it. I then moisturise using Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser . I am a big fan of moisturiser and get through a lot of it. In fact I'd say it is one of my most important cosmetic products. Being outside on a day to day basis means that my face gets an absolute hammering from the elements.

07:20 - I spend a really long time deliberating exactly what I should wear. I am a young, strong, independent woman and I want my style to reflect that while still saying that I like to look feminine if I want to. Pah! I jest. I mainly want to wear something that's not going to get snagged on barbed wire if I have to jump out the way of a herd of stampeding cattle. My go- to outfit is jeans, a check shirt and a gilet (see here). I have a lot of gilets...I'll show you my gilet collection some time.

07:30 - I leap into action and go down stairs to begin the day in earnest. I begin by emptying the dish-washer. I believe in having a clean slate to begin the day and if the dishwasher is already empty, then I can shove things in throughout the day. If there's laundry to do then I'll put on a load of laundry. It will be now, while the boys are out of the house that I'll do some of the day's chores. I sweep the kitchen floor (we gather a lot of dog hair!) and hoover the lounge if need-be.

07:45 - 08:00 - Rick and the little cherub will be home by now. It's usually me that feeds Bosun his breakfast at this point. He is fed raw (see here) so will get a range of different things such as minced chicken, lamb, venison, oily fish, beef and many other bits and pieces. I sometimes give him a raw egg with his food and sometimes some veggies like carrots or peas. It's all very good for him and his breakfast often looks more appetising than mine.

08:00 - I make my self a cup of tea (I have a mild tea addiction) and have breakfast. Sometimes I'll have granola and yogurt. Sometimes I'll have some avocado on toast. Sometimes I'll have a cinnamon bagel. Maybe I'll have bovril on crumpets. So many possibilities. I'll sit and watch the BBC breakfast news while I eat my breakfast. Sometimes I shout with outrage at some of the stories. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I laugh. I always get angry at how much football monopolises the news. I definitely think rugby should get more television time than it already does. I'm a big rugby fan...but that's a story for another time.

08:30 - I check my blog and respond to new comments, I'll do some social media-ing maybe posting some photos or tweeting some links to some blog posts I like. I spend a lot of time on pinterest because...well it's pinterest. I'll catch up on other blog posts and leave lots of nice friendly comments and basically just relax before my working day commences.

08:50 - I'll hang out the laundry and finish any chores that need doing, load breakfast stuff into the dishwasher, Bosun's food bowl etc. I'll wipe down the kitchen surfaces and the sink etc and that way I know I can nag Rick if he leaves anything out on the surface at lunch time.

09:00 - I will then go and brush my teeth and brush my hair. My hair brushing is a bit of an has a mind of it's own. It's rather long and thick and unruly and un tamable and terrifying and sort of full of the snakes of Medusa. I'll try and beat it into submission into a pony tail...but sometimes if I don't win then I just have to shove it into a generic bun, mess, lump.

09:15 - I don my warden's camo baseball cap, pull on my muck boots, put some snacks and a bottle of water in my rucksack and head off into the park for a day of checking on the cattle, taking care of the park and escorting visitors safely into the park and ensuring they don't get far as is possible.

I hope you nosey people enjoyed reading about my morning routine. I would love to read about some of your routines! Write a blog post and leave a link in the comments section.
I'm off to drink another cup of tea now.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

The Musto Buckden Boot

May 30, 2016

It was my birthday a few weeks ago (yes I am a taurus, shocking) and I was EXTREMELY lucky and fortunate and happy and grateful to receive from my lovely fiancee, something I have wanted for years...The Musto Buckden Boot.

The reason I have never bought these beautiful works of art for myself is that they have always been a teensy bit out of my price range. Rick, however, being the wonderfully resourceful man that he is managed to find them at a sale price at The Sportsman Gun centre and bought them for me as a birthday surprise. Aren't I a lucky girl?

These boots are really durable and will last a life time if treated properly. They are very stylish and you wouldn't look out of place wearing them to the pub for a nice, hot lunch after a jaunt in the country.

We went out for a walk yesterday afternoon with Bosun to test out the new boots. I haven't worn them up to now because I've been waiting for the leather boot treatment to arrive that I'd ordered. I thought that if I'm going to have such nice boots, I'd better treat them properly!

The Musto Buckden Boot is not completely water proof which I'm fine with. It's designed to keep your feet dry when walking through long wet grass and in the don't go wading through streams in them. If I want to go rock pooling, I have my Muck boots for that!

I really love how grippy and rugged the soles are! I feel like I could tackle any kind of terrain in these boots. They are so comfortable and are lined with Goretex, making them extra warm.

 I learned from this walk and trying to choose some nice pictures to post of my new boots, that my hair is out of control. A lot of the pictures, Rick was there shouting at me to get my hair out the way. Charming,

I will admit The Buckden Boots have a serious case of new boot stiffness, but I have read that with a lot of wearing in, they become soft and supple. So...I will just have to wear them as often as I can! No problem!

On a side note, did you catch my May Scavenger Hunt that I posted last week? I would also just like to post a few links to some of the other bloggers that got involved because there were some fantastic photos from these ladies.

Make sure you take a look!

Animal Cupcake Round-up

May 29, 2016

Hey gang!
It's Sunday, the weekend is almost over (boo!), but never fear. I have rounded up some of the cutest animal-themed cupcake recipes out there to cheer you up. Trust me, once you have a look at these, you will completely forget it's Monday tomorrow.

(FYI I do know it's bank-holiday, but the wild-cattle don't believe in such things. The cattle keep me in line!)

I've been on a bit of a baking themed mission this weekend, which is why I thought of doing this cupcake round up. You may have come across my banana bread recipe from yesterday? I am carrying on the theme...

  • These are cupcakes that very cleverly use mini marsh-mallows to make sheep! Such a creative idea from Wine and Glue.
  • With this recipe from Hobbycraft, you use many cupcakes to form a giraffe. Pretty genius if you ask me.
  • These owl cupcakes though! Such a fun thing to make with your children!
  • These absolutely cracked me up. They're supposed to be bunny-bums, as if they were disappearing down a rabbit hole!
  • Piggy cupcakes! Rick's Auntie is obsessed with piggies so these would be fantastic to make for her.
  • I really love the look of these polar bear cupcakes, however it is an american site, and I'm not really sure where we'd get donut holes from here...or what white spice drops are.
  • From the same site as the polar bears (the lady is talented!) comes this cool turtle cupcake. Love it!
I know I only usually do about 4 or 5 links when I do a round-up so as not to over-whelm you all, but I really couldn't narrow it down to my favourites because there are so many amazing animal-themed cupcake recipes out there!!

Have a fabulous bank-holiday and rest of the week everybody!

Delicious Banana Bread Recipe

May 28, 2016
Happy Saturday Folks!

Today when I got up I noticed that the bananas we'd bought last week with good intentions were looking a little past their best. So let's be honest, there's only one thing for it. Banana bread! Actually if I'm being REALLY honest they were probably past their best around Wednesday. I have always found, however that squishy bananas make the best Banana bread.

So I thought I would share my recipe with you. I can't even remember where I got the original recipe from (some old book?) but I've tried and tested many methods over the years, and this is just how my Banana breads turned out after years of tweaking and trying and testing different ingredients, quantities and temperatures.

I use a 5 x 9 inch loaf tin and bear in mind that I do have a very temperamental gas oven. You can see here for tips on cooking with gas ovens! Temperatures may vary slightly if you're using an electric oven.


  • 200g (7oz) plain flour
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 90g (3oz) butter
  • 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 140g (5oz) caster sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)


  • Pre heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a loaf tin well with a small amount of butter.
  • Peel the bananas and mash them up well in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and mix in well with the bananas.
  • Mix the sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture.
  • Mix in the egg and the vanilla extract. 
  • Add the flour and mix it in well.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin and put it in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until a tester skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for five minutes and then tip out onto a cooling rack to cool fully.

If you cut this with a bread knife, I find it cuts a lot more easily and you don't get crumbs everywhere.

Do let me know if you make this banana bread using the recipe. I'd love to see it! Tag me on twitter or instagram, or post a link to your blog post here in the comments.

May Scavenger Hunt

May 27, 2016
So...I saw this roughly about a month ago and was a teensy weensy bit excited about it and decided I simply HAD to get involved or else I was going to have some serious FOMO. (Fear of Missing Out).

This cute blog called Live Love Craft Me organises a monthly scavenger hunt for bloggers to be involved in whereby a list of words is set for the month, and then at the end of the month you simply post your photos that you have interpreted from those words. I had to get on board!

So here are my photos for the May Scavenger Hunt. Duh duh duh duuuuuuuh!


I immediately knew what I was going to do for this one as soon as I saw the word. This picture is taken in the woods behind my house, and these paths are created all over the place by the deer that regularly use them. 


This is a cattle hide that adorns the wall of one of the buildings at work. It's really soft to touch, and of course very hairy!


I don't know if this is really naughty but I've repurposed this photo from my Garden Motivation post. I love growing my own food, and I'm hoping that everything within this little veggie plot in my garden will be very edible.


It was quite by chance that Rick pointed out this butterfly and I was all "Oh look a Small Skipper" and then I was like "oooh...Small!" It just happened.


When I was doing my identification module at college, we did a whole bit on bumbleebees because there's a lot of different species, and our teacher showed us this poem. I quite liked it. It made me laugh,


My hands, doing some weeding standard. I really hope one of the other bloggers managed to capture some dead man's fingers for this one, I couldn't find any!


So, this is vintage Ellie. As you can see, from a very early age I was rocking the wellies and Gilet look. And it appears that we kept massive chickens. I mean seriously, was I just small or are those chickens huge? The caravan in the back ground was permanently there and we used it as a play house, or sometimes we'd have camp outs in the garden...but in the caravan.


I really loved the shadows in this bit of oak woodland. The leaves aren't quite fully formed yet so there's lots of dappled spots of light coming through. Beautiful!

View from a Window

This was my favourite one! This is how Bosun let's us know that he wants to come back in. I can see this kitchen window from the sofa in the living room, and I always crack up when I see this happy little face asking to be let back in,

My Own Choice

I really love, and I mean LOVE the texture of fallen dead wood. Fallen dead wood is a fantastic habitat for insects which means that it attracts loads of birds, and I just think it's so photographable!!

Well I had such a lot of fun doing this, do go and check out Hawthorn's blog and have a look at what some of the other bloggers have thought of for this Scavenger hunt.

Say Hello to...

May 26, 2016

Hello everybody! Today we are saying hello to Alice!

1. So, tell us all about your blog. What inspired you to start it? How did you come up with your blog title?

Wooden Window Sills is a UK Food, Travel and Lifestyle Blog based on all the little joys in life - cooking and eating delicious dishes, getting lost in a good book, exploring new places, and spending time renovating our little home. I've had a tumblr  for over 8 years but I always used it a bit like Pinterest - to scrapbook all the lovely photographs, quotes and quirky things online that I enjoyed. I had named it Wooden Walls, Floors and Windowsills for two reasons - one being my favourite place, a little black wooden hut in Sennen Cove, right at the tip of the country, and the other, after the lyrics in one of my favourite songs - To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra. Since starting working life it's got quite neglected, but I found I was reading more and more blogs. So one day I just decided, why not write one too? I've always loved being creative, and Wooden Window Sills was started as a space I could write, practice photography and become more purposeful with projects. I love the opportunities it's provided, the people I've met as a result and the incredible response I've had (not for one second did I believe that anyone would be interested in anything I had to say!) 

2. You have posted some amazingly tasty looking recipes on your blog. If you were coming off of a long stint alone on a desert island where you had only been eating yukka and fish for three months, what would your first meal be?

Someone's been watching The Island with Bear Grylls! ;) This is really tough! You either have to go for the practical answer and say something fresh and small and quite plain (they literally have starved for a month so if you went OTT you'd make yourself so ill!) but if it was a case of which food I'd probably be dreaming about, I can only liken it to when I was volunteering in India and for 6 weeks lived off vegetable curry cooked by the local ladies from the village and I dreamt of really good coffee, porridge and golden syrup (after eating curry for breakfast, it's amazing what you crave), steak and fries, homemade lasagne, dairy milk, and icecream. So probably some sort of combination of the above. I'm hungry now. 

3. You're based in Somerset which is a beautiful county. Can you name a favourite spot that you like to go to? Maybe one of Somerset's hidden gems?

This is where it gets interesting. I actually work in Somerset in a beautiful converted barn, but I live across the border in Devon during the week in the countryside with my parents as it's closer to work, but i spend all weekend by the sea in Plymouth as my boyfriend has a house there. So there are multiple favourite spots and of the three, I have probably explored Somerset the least. Around Plymouth there are some gorgeous places to visit - breakfast at Royal William Yard Bakery, a windy walk up Rame Head, across the water to Mount Edgcumbe. There's also a really cute Elizabethan garden hidden in the Barbican. 

4. Did you go through an awkward teenage phase  in your younger years? If so, what advice would you now give to your younger self?

Ha, yes definitely! I look at teenagers now and think HOW do you look so cool?! Corr now I sound like a proper granny! However, I did actually own corduroy tie-dye rainbow flares...yep! I also went through an emo phase where I wore a bright pink and black stripy jumper, black miniskirt and black and pink stripy tights to a friends bowling party for her birthday, some chav yelled across the car park that i was an ugly emo fag and that was the end of that phase! I'm so pleased now that my Mum didn't let me die my hair black. The advice I'd give my younger self is to not put so much pressure on myself to always be the top of everything. I spent years beating myself up for not getting perfect scores on every test and only when I got to university did I finally let myself relax and realised that pushing yourself to achieve is important, but definitely not to the extent where you utterly stressed yourself out over it. Ohh and maybe that love really hurts when it goes wrong, but it would all work out ok eventually and you'd still end up good friends. 

5. If you were asked to design a limited edition postage stamp for Royal Mail, what would be on your design?

As much as i'm a creative person, this is by no way channeled into my ability to draw or paint. So my design would be a collaboration, probably with my mum who is an amazing artist! She actually designed my blog header too! I would like it to be something to do with the sea, as it's my favourite place to be. So probably a lovely little seaside village with a harbour and some boats. 

Thankyou so much Alice! (And yes I do watch the Island with Bear Grylls...I am a bit addicted).
Alice blogs at Wooden Window Sills. Pop on over and check it out!

Nature Notes

May 25, 2016

So I'm writing and publishing this post today which is Wednesday 25th May 2016. I'm really glad that I decided to take my pictures for this post over the past few days and edit them because the weather has been glorious, but right now it's 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday and the weather outside is despicable! Wind, rain and miserable, ominous clouds. If I had decided to take the pictures for this post today then I would have been severely disappointed, as would you guys...

A lot of the things that I've been noticing are really difficult to take pictures of so I haven't been able to document them properly, for that I sincerely apologise.

The cuckoo has been back in the park now for roughly a month (I stupidly didn't write down the exact date I first heard it). It's endearing sound echoes for miles around, and on a daily basis I get visitors commenting how lovely it is to hear, because they haven't heard one where they live for years. If I'm honest, I hear it every day and it does start to drive one slightly insane. I would really love to get a picture of said cuckoo but I really wouldn't have the first clue where to start looking. Because we're in a valley I genuinely cannot tell which direction the noise is coming from. Also, if I'm really honest, I don't know that I'd immediately recognise a cuckoo.

The swallows are nesting in the Hemmel. They come back to this area every year and they are simply magnificent. They are migratory and travel for absolutely miles every year to South Africa and back. They eat flying insects and you can observe them dipping, diving and swooping to catch these flying insects in their mouth. You can see great flocks of swallows bunched up on fences and phone lines. I love that they are so acrobatic, they can fly through the smallest of spaces with so much skill and make it look so easy. I would love to get a picture of a swallow, but they are simply to quick! I looked like a right plank the other day running around the field with Rick's camera trying to get an action shot of a swallow. It really was a futile effort.

Hares are really common up here in Northumberland. I don't recall actually ever having seen a hare in Dorset. So basically my first time ever seeing a hare was when I moved to Northumberland last year. There are loads of them. They've just about finished boxing now. Watching the boxing displays was fantastic and thrilling, but really difficult to photograph. I think this post is just turning into a "Ellie's really bad at photography" post.

The badgers are creating a new sett in Chillingham. They've been really busy! I've noticed that the soil in this particular area is really sandy so I think that's made for easier digging and quicker progress.

Hawthorn. Horrible to walk through but a gloriously beautiful flower when it arrives. I find it really bizarre that in different parts of Chillingham, the hawthorn is at different stages. As you can see, here it's in it's small, flowery ball stage. In other areas, it's already in full bloom. In another part, it still hasn't finished growing leaves yet. Maybe due to the light available? Or different soil types? I'd be interested to find out.

I hope you're all enjoying your nature-ful adventures. What's going on in your part of the country?

Wedding Planning Stress

May 24, 2016

So back in February, I announced some exciting news. I got engaged! My wonderful boyfriend of two years spent a long time planning a treasure hunt around the house and eventually I found my engagement ring in a most unlikely place. I was ridiculously excited. I am so happy to be marrying the man of my dreams. And of course I said yes!

Of course I am a girl so naturally I've had my dream wedding planned out in my head for years. I began putting these plans together in earnest, doing research. creating pinterest boards and ordering samples of things. I know that a lot of the decorations are going to be home made by myself or one of my willing volunteers (Future mother in law is a whizz with the bunting!). We have planted the flowers that are going to be used, so will be doing all the flower arrangements and bouquets ourselves. (I say we, again it's the FMIL that will be leading the way because she is fantastic).

But now that's come down to actually planning things and booking things and asking for quotes, I had no idea that planning the happiest day of my life was going to be so stressful! Could somebody please have warned me? And do you know what's really annoying? Is that men really don't care about weddings. I sit there on pinterest in the evenings looking through table decorations and rustic looking cakes and show Rick and his response is a standard "yes that's nice". Some more feed back would be helpful dear. But let's be honest here, I will have the final say. And that's his argument. I see his point. He says that he would quite happily go down to the registry office, sign the paper and then have a meal at the pub. The wedding is for the girls. Yep.

We started our wedding fund as soon as we got engaged. We already had a bit saved up in individual saving funds but we decided if we were going to build our lives together, we needed to be more adult and have a joint account to be used for wedding savings in the mean time but for adult things after the wedding. We had quite a bit saved up, I was quite proud of our little fund. This week I have kicked off the plans by starting to book things in earnest. I have booked the catering, the band and the photographer. We have also been to see the reverend who will be marrying us and booked in the ceremony at st Peter's Church in Chillingham.

What is really terrifying is that I have spent most of our fund on deposits! Of course we have almost a year to continue saving and the saving plan that we've put in place in theory should mean that we have more than enough for the size of wedding that we would like. But seriously, weddings are expensive. It's frightening how much money Rick and I will be spending, considering we are going with the most economical options on things. How much do people usually spend on weddings?

Trying to sort out bridesmaid dresses that all my bridesmaids will agree with is also proving a challenge...but I think we've got it sorted out...just about.

To top it all off, the emerald in my engagement ring came loose so at the moment it is off being repaired. Rick was angry to say the least because of the time and effort he put into choosing that ring. After all the money stress, I was thinking "oh gosh, is this an omen? Is the universe trying to tell me that I'm spending too much money?" But I realised quickly that I was being hysterical.

I have downloaded a helpful app onto my phone called Wed Happy which is basically a hand held wedding planner. It's really useful. You can put in your budget and then it keeps track of how much you're spending so that you don't go over that budget. Although I'm fairly sure that we'll be going over budget. Don't tell Rick. The app also sends me little notifications to tell me to do things such as phone back the caterers or post save the date cards etc. Very handy.

Right now I am looking forward to the few days before the wedding where there is nothing else to be planned, everything is as prepared as it can be and I can just relax with my family. I will get my hair and nails done, eat some takeaway and prepare for the chaos and hectic-ness that will be my wedding day.

We have planned some fun things for the day as well which we are both really excited about. I've been to a few really boring weddings in my time where everyone stands around waiting for things to happen, and I didn't want that for my wedding. I can assure you that everybody will be entertained!

So, I will keep persevering and hopefully not lose many of my marbles. Do you have any wedding planning tips? Any ways to keep sane? Anything I should just chuck out? I would love to hear from you.

Your Essential Guide to Walking around Cattle

May 23, 2016

I am and always have been an avid walker. I grew up in the heart of the Dorset countryside and from an early age was getting up to all kinds of mischief with my sisters and friends on long rambling adventures. Part of those rambles would at some point always lead us through a field of cattle. For us it was just normal. We grew up knowing how to act around cattle and it became second nature.

More and more nowadays we are being faced with article after article describing horrifying incidents where walkers are chased by cattle, sometimes even being hurt by them. I can never recall an incident growing up where I was at all concerned about walking through cattle, I don't remember being chased or intimidated at all. I suppose I was lucky in that it was just part of every day life. I appreciate that a lot of people are not that lucky, but still would like to enjoy the Countryside. I have put together this (what I hope is) helpful guide which will hopefully help you walk with confidence through a field where they may be cattle present.

Only walk on designated rights of way

There are thousands of miles of rights of way in Britain. These will pass through a wide variety of different places such as moorland, coastal areas and farmland to name a few. There are different designations of rights of way to which different rules apply.
  • Public footpaths - open only to walkers
  • Public Bridle-ways - open to walkers, horse riders and cyclists
  • Restricted by-ways - open to walkers, horse riders, cyclists and non-motorised vehicles such as horse drawn vehicles
  • Byways open to all traffic (BOATS) - open to all traffic including off road vehicles
  • Permissive rights of way - land privately owned where the land owner allows the public access. The landowner may impose any regulations he/she wants i.e. no dogs
Do your research before you set off on your ramble. Look at an OS map that will show you all the rights of way. Rights of way should be clearly marked by something such as an arrow or a wooden sign (it differs depending on where you are). 
Some of these rights of way will pass through farmland and quite rightly, some of this land will be used to contain cattle. 

A farmer is well within his rights to keep cattle on this land however there are a few restrictions. There are dairy cattle and beef cattle. A farmer can keep both dairy and beef cows (for those of you that don't know, a cow is female) on a public footpath, however he may not keep a dairy bull over 10 months old on a public footpath. Dairy bulls are known to be highly aggressive and this wouldn't be at all safe. A farmer may keep a beef bull on a public footpath regardless of age provided he is accompanied by cows or heifers (a heifer is a female up until she has had her first calf). A beef bull of over 10 months old may not be kept on a public footpath by himself. 

Regardless of whether it's a bull, heifer or cow, a farmer must take appropriate action if a particular animal is known to be aggressive towards humans. This may include erecting signs on gates to warn people of aggressive animals so make sure you heed any signs on gates!

I'm walking through the countryside and I see a field up ahead of me with cattle in it...

You can make a quick assessment of the general mood of the cattle from a distance. Are they sat down relaxing? Are they running around chasing each other? If the cattle are already in a state of agitation before you enter the field then you're asking for trouble. Only pass by cattle if they are calm and relaxed. Relaxed cattle will be grazing or cudding.

Do they have calves with them? Cows with calves will be hyper-alert. They are fantastic mothers which is great for the farmer and makes his job very easy, but difficult for walkers. If there are calves, give them as wide a berth as possible and NEVER walk between cows and calves.

What if they're stood round the gate?

Just open the gate and walk through as normal. Cattle tend to not enjoy being around people as a general rule so will tend to move away if you walk towards them. The best thing you can do is just act normal. Go about your business, pretend like the cattle aren't even there. If you act nervous and jittery the cattle will pick up on it and will become restless. Just be normal!!

So the cattle won't always be stood around the gate, sometimes they'll just be randomly placed in the field. In which case, your job is easy. Just walk casually and normally through the field at a normal pace at a good distance. Always give the cattle as wide a berth as possible, there's no point disturbing them if you don't have to. 

What if they start coming towards me?

What a lot of people fail to remember is that cattle are incredibly curious and intelligent creatures. For all you know, you are the most interesting thing they've seen all day. They may well come towards you to check out what you are and what you're up to. Just keep on walking normally. BE NORMAL. The worst thing you can do at this stage is run. If you start running, the cattle may well think it's a game to join in and start running too. 

But what if they DO start running?

It's very possible in rare circumstances that the cattle may well start running and bucking around, particularly if they are young flighty animals. If they do start running, then get yourself as quickly as possible to the nearest fence, wall or gate to safety. As I say, it's very unlikely they actually will start running but it's good to have peace of mind ahead of time.

Can I take my dog with me?

Yes, many cattle will be very used to dogs walking through their field. However, please be sensible. Remember that to cattle, dogs are predators. They are descended from wolves and are carnivores. I wrote a blog post a while back on walking with your dog in the countryside with a few tips. Click here. 

When walking past cattle, keep your dog on a lead. No dog's recall is 100% so the most effective thing is to have the dog on the lead at your side. A dog that is barking and dancing around and acting like a maniac will upset cattle, particularly if they have calves with them.

The only exception to this rule is if the cattle do start running towards you in an aggressive manner. In this event, let your dog off the lead to fend for itself and get yourself to safety.
Your dog can outrun the cattle, you can't!
How many times have I read about people getting hurt while protecting their dog? Countless. The cattle will chase the dog whether it's running free or on the other end of the lead. I know which one I'd prefer! Let the dog go, and it will find it's way to safety and probably distract the cattle while you make a swift get away.

When all else fails...

If you genuinely feel that you are not confident enough to walk through a field containing cattle, then it may be the best thing that you find an alternative route. It's really not worth the risk if you believe you wouldn't be able to get yourself to safety in time or the cattle are looking rather agitated already.

If you have a bad incident on a footpath with some cattle, do report it to the council or the land owner depending on who is responsible for the path. It's important for a farmer to know if his cattle are causing a problem.

Always leave gates as you find them. 

Cattle have always been and will always be part of our countryside. They are a common sight and I would be genuinely sad if this ever changed. We all just have to learn to be a little bit more respectful. I'm a firm believer that if you respect them, they'll respect you. When all is said and done, that farmer is simply making a living. He is supporting his family with those cattle. And let's not forget that farmers feed this country, Support British farmers!

I hope you have all found this little guide helpful. If there is anything that I have missed out or if you have any questions then feel free to leave a comment.
Have a good week.

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