Unfortunately incidents involving walkers and livestock occur every year on farmland.
Such incidents are rare, but some serious injuries and deaths do occur and there have been some widely-publicised cases in recent years.
No one wants to have an incident on their land, so it is worth considering what steps can be taken to reduce the risks of injuries occurring.
The NFU has updated Business Guide 407: Livestock & Rights of Way which suggests action farmers might take to guard against possible problems and outlines the relevant provisions of English and Welsh civil and criminal law.
New to this Business Guide are the 'Quick Guide' and 'Key Considerations' on pages 12 and 13 at the end of the document. These sections summarise what livestock can be kept in fields with rights of way and measures to reduce the risk of incidents. It is important to use these summaries in conjunction with the information contained in the whole guide.
As every farm is unique some of the measures suggested may not be suitable for everyone, so there is no one-size-fits-all package of measures. Farmers need to decide what is appropriate for their land and stock.
Individual farmers who are concerned about their situation should take independent advice on their particular circumstances, and may also wish to consider checking the position with their insurance company.