Home   Dartford   News   Article

Cows escaping in School Lane and Southfleet Road, Bean, causing danger to public and themselves

Escaped cows have been causing havoc in a busy village street after people have allegedly “deliberately cut fences” around a cattle field.

The cows, which belong to farmer Perrin Thomas, escaped four times over 48 hours, including when children were leaving Bean Primary School in School Lane, Bean, and late at night.

Cows along School Lane in Bean
Cows along School Lane in Bean

The black farm animals with yellow tags were spotted blocking the main road through Bean village late Monday night causing traffic to build as vehicles were left with no way to pass.

The group of around six livestock were spotted again the following day strolling along School Lane in Bean.

Mr Thomas, who only leased the field five weeks ago, blamed the escapes on people cutting through fencing which has been placed across a footpath.

He said he has spent money tending to a neglected field and more than £3,500 erecting fencing around it.

He is in talks with Kent County Council and the public rights of way officer to check if the fencing is in the right place and said he is happy to move it if he is in the wrong.

Cows in Southfleet Road, Bean. Picture: Paige Lee
Cows in Southfleet Road, Bean. Picture: Paige Lee

He said: “I was only going on what I was advised but we will put it right if we have blocked a public right of way.”

In the meantime, he has asked walkers to think again about “vandalising the fences” as the constant repairs are taking away his time and resources from necessary farm work following the recent wet weather, and it is also dangerous to the animals and motorists.

“They can still walk through the fields,” he added.

“It is really important that people leave them alone in the next few days. We need to be spending our time sorting the crops and cutting the hay rather than erecting more posts and barbed wire.”

A Bean Parish Council spokesman said: “The parish council is aware that some walkers and local residents have been cutting the fencing, where the above cattle are grazing, in order to access footpath DR24 (section from Sandy Lane to where it meets DR25) and this resulted in the cattle escaping onto School Lane and Southfleet Road.

“Not only did the cattle cause damage to a resident's garden, their presence on the highway could have caused a major incident.

‘It is totally irresponsible and could result in a very serious accident’

“It is totally irresponsible and could result in a very serious accident. It’s not only a danger to the cows but to pedestrians and motorists.

“The 'stopping up' of a public footpath (right of way) is a matter for Kent's Public Right of Way Officer to address as he will have access to full details on land ownership titles and plans and will also refer to definitive maps to determine the legal route of a PROW.

“The parish council has been in contact with cattle owner Perrin Thomas and the PROW officer and Mr Thomas has confirmed that he will abide by the decision of the officer.”

The officer dealing with the issue is away until Wednesday so walkers have been asked to keep the fence intact until the situation is resolved “to prevent further damage and possible injury to the cattle and motorists”.

The spokesman added: “The parish council fully appreciates the frustration this situation may be causing both local residents and walkers but would assure you that the council will be seeking a prompt resolution.”

Mr Thomas's cattle have yellow ear tags. Anyone who spots them outside their field is asked to call him on 07772 704136.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More