Stampede fears force Northamptonshire nature reserve to shut path as visitors flock to see Highland cattle

One of the Highland cows. Picture by Milo Minney.One of the Highland cows. Picture by Milo Minney.
One of the Highland cows. Picture by Milo Minney.
Wooden gates have been padlocked

The path through the gullet at Twywell Hills and Dales has been shut over fears Highland cattle could stampede as visitors flock to see them.

The nature reserve, which sits between Kettering and Thrapston just off the A14, has seen an 'unprecedented' number of visitors at weekends with the cattle becoming a tourist attraction.

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Last week two dogs chased the small herd through the gullet and spooked them into stampeding, narrowly missing two volunteers who were clearing the area.

And with huge numbers travelling to see them the path through the gullet has been closed for the week and possibly longer until the situation is risk assessed.

A post by the nature reserve's ranger yesterday (Monday) said: "We cannot risk the cattle being cornered in the gullet and stampeding, possibly injuring the public or even themselves.

"The two wooden gates at each end will be padlocked later today, with notices warning people why it is closed and that they enter at their own risk."

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The site, which is managed by The Land Trust, has also warned visitors not to park dangerously outside and urged them not to visit at weekends if possible.

The ranger's post added: "The site was inundated at the weekend with dozens of cars parked dangerously on the grass verges outside, preventing a safe exit from the site, onto a 60mph road and on a sweeping bend.

"Please avoid the site at weekends where possible. There are plenty [of] other places to take exercise, the site is a nature reserve and cannot cope with the amount of visitors it is currently receiving and I do not want there to be a serious road accident right outside the site.

"We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic - be sensible and stay safe please."

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