FOR those of us who regularly walk in the countryside, we know the coming of the warmer weather around Easter time usually coincides with the arrival of cattle.

That's not to say the fields are devoid of cows in the winter; there are always the hardier Belties and Highland cattle, but they are generally not as 'curious' as those that appear in the spring, who after all have spent many months inside.

This year, the wet weather has delayed the letting out of the cows and walkers have been given a while longer to walk through fields and moorland, without keeping an eye out for curious bovines. For let's face it, it takes a brave person to walk through a field with a herd of young, frisky cattle following in your shadow.

The woman who was attacked while walking on a footpath at Malham Tarn did all the right things - her dog had been on the lead, and she let it off when cattle headed towards her; and yet, she was still knocked down and trampled on - it must have been terrifying for her; and she was lucky to escape more serious injury.

These cattle didn't have any calves to protect, so why the woman was attacked is unclear - it is however very rare says the National Trust, which owns the land; which of course is reassuring, but not for the poor unfortunate woman who despite following all the advice was injured and will be very wary of walking in the countryside from now on.

No one wants the countryside to become a theme park for visitors with all possible risks removed; but there must be a way of potentially rogue cattle being identified early on and not put out into fields crossed by well-used footpaths.