A HOLIDAY-maker who was killed by “stampeding” cattle in a field near Ashbourne was walking two dogs, the News Telegraph can reveal.
Peter Jakeman, 62, died in hospital shortly after he was caught in a “stampede” of beef cattle on land near Upper Mayfield, off the Limestone Way on Wednesday morning.
The owner of nearby campsite Newhouse Farm where Mr Jakeman and his wife Hilary were staying in a trailer-tent, said the couple, from Cornwall, were on the last day of their holiday, having arrived on Friday and they were due to leave on Thursday.
They had just set off on a walk with their two small spaniels when the herd of beef cattle, which belong to Richard Toon at Lower Grounds Farm in Upper Mayfield, descended on them, in a bid to protect their calves. Mrs Jakeman managed to escape uninjured but Mr Jakeman, who was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, died of his injuries.
In response to the tragedy a warning has been issued by the National Farmers Union to anyone walking dogs around cattle.
Andrew Critchlow, Derbyshire NFU county adviser, said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear about the man’s death and our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.
“When walking with dogs in fields with cattle, the advice is to avoid getting between cows and their calves and to keep any dogs close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep. You should not hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle though - let it go, as the cattle will chase the dog and dogs can usually look after themselves.
“Farmers take very seriously their responsibility to the safety of walkers within fields but it is not possible to avoid putting cattle in all fields with footpaths as that would leave insufficient land for the cattle to graze. Also it is the cattle that enable the countryside to be maintained as the beautiful place it is to walk in.
“So please be mindful of your surroundings, look out for farm animals rearing their young and give them space; always give them a wide berth.
“Given the millions of people that visit Derbyshire and especially the Peak National Park incidents such as this are thankfully very rare.”