Shropshire Star

Escaped cows stampede through Ludlow

Up to 40 cows escaped from a field near Ludlow and left a trail of destruction in the early hours of today.


Up to 40 cows escaped from a field near Ludlow and left a trail of destruction in the early hours of today.

Residents in Ludlow were awoken in the early hours of today after the cows escaped from a nearby farm and stampeded through the town.

The herd escaped from buildings at Priors Halton Farm, about a mile outside Ludlow, before finding their way into the town centre at about 4.30am, causing damage to cars, gates and buildings.

About half the cows were herded into a private car park on Raven Lane, while the rest ran through the town centre to the castle grounds.

Residents today said they saw some of the cows charging along Raven Lane before the herd split into two.

About half a dozen residents spent up to three hours working with police helping round up the cattle before they were collected by Jonathan Lewis, who runs the farm, at about 7.30am.

Stuart Dickinson, who lives in Pelican Court just off Raven Lane, was among those herding cattle in the early hours of the morning.

He said: "I heard wing mirrors crunching and a cow moo and, when I looked out of the window, something seemed to spook the cows because they started charging down the road.

"About 20 of them were diverted into the car park on Raven Lane and there were five or six of us who kept them in the car park until the farmer came.

"Lots of the cows have been all round the castle grounds and there was some damage to one of the archways to the side of the castle."

Gavin Clark, of Raven Lane, said: "For a herd of cows to be running around Ludlow town centre like that is quite exceptional – it was quite exciting."

Mr Lewis said: "Something has spooked the cows because they have broken through three gates at the farm and run into the town, which is about a mile away.

"All the cows are now back in the shed but I hope it will never happen again in my lifetime – it hasn't happened to our family in three generations of farming."

Richard Ewels, spokesman for West Mercia Police, said: "We had several calls from members of the public at about 4.30am reporting about 40 young cows in Ludlow town centre.

"We were quickly able to locate the farmer and some members of the public managed to detain half of the cattle in a car park while the rest were found milling around the castle grounds."

By Peter Kitchen

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