Lake District and farming officials have issued a stark warning to the public about keeping safe around cows in the countryside.

The Lake District National Park Authority and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) released the joint statement in response to several recent incidents involving walkers being injured or killed by cattle in the UK.

Only last month an 82-year-old woman was trampled by cows on land at Cartmell Fell. The attack resulted in the woman suffering a broken arm and her 15-year-old dog being killed.

Andrea Meanwell, the Lake District National Park Authority’s farming officer, gave advice on how members of the public should behave around cows, drawing attention to the countryside code.

“Cows with calves will be protective of their young so you should avoid getting too close,” she said.

“If you mistakenly do, then please don’t make a run for it, move away slowly. Don’t turn your back on the cattle and don’t make eye contact as they can find this intimidating.

“The countryside code advises that dogs should always be under close control around livestock but if you are feeling threatened by cattle the advice is to drop the lead to allow your dog to run away.”

Likewise NFU Cumbria County Chairman Ian Bowness also reiterated the importance of adhering to the countryside code advice.

“Sadly, we have learnt of several incidents nationally in the past month in which members of the public have lost their lives,” he said. "Our sympathies are with the families of those involved.

“The countryside is a busy working environment, so we need to ensure that the millions of people who visit every year can continue to do so safely and responsibly.

“The countryside code provides information to members of the public about how they can stay safe and enjoy the countryside responsibly.

“This includes keeping to public rights of way where safe and appropriate to do so, always keeping a dog under effective control and releasing your dog if feeling threatened by livestock.”