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Bredhurst fireworks display results in death of cows at village's Kemsley Street Farm

A farmer has spoken of his horror after discovering a calf hanged from a fence and a cow so badly injured it had to be put down.

The shocking scenes came the morning after a village firework display in Bredhurst near Gillingham.

Warning: Upsetting images below

One of the cows grazing on Bredhurst farm earlier this year
One of the cows grazing on Bredhurst farm earlier this year

The distressing find was made at Kemsley Street Farm near the school playing field where residents had congregated for a party, live music and pyrotechnics display.

Another calf is seriously injured and the farmer, who does not want to be named, is fearful some spooked pregnant cows may have to have abortions in case they miscarry.

He said: "I did not know about the display, but I heard it was very loud, more loud than a light show.

"It must have been like being in a war zone for them. They would have been petrified.

"I can only assume they bolted after hearing the noise and there was some sort of stampede."

Dead calf found at farm after the display
Dead calf found at farm after the display

Up to 30 suckler breed cows graze in the field which the farmer has rented from a landlord for the last four years.

He added: "I don't know exactly what this will end up costing. There's the loss of the cows, repairs to a fence, possible abortions and extra labour. It could be up to £25,000 – and all for a 15-minute display.

"It comes down to urban folk not understanding rural life."

The farmer, who also has arable land on the site, added: "If it had been two to three weeks later and a firework dropped on dry land, that would have gone up in smoke."

He is now speaking with the National Farmers' Union regarding possible legal action.

Bredhurst village sign
Bredhurst village sign

Frontier Fireworks, which is based in a village in East Sussex, carried out the show.

Its director Chris Verheyden said: "We were hired to perform a professional fireworks display.

"We were informed by the event organiser that everyone in the village had been made aware, including the land owner of the fields and that not one person in the village came forward with any concerns.

"Unfortunately, we will not make further comment on this issue at this time while this claim is being investigated."

June Cox, who runs the church charity shop and organised the June 17 event, said she was "deeply saddened" by the incident.

Bredhurst Village Hall
Bredhurst Village Hall
There was a fireworks display in the village
There was a fireworks display in the village

She said: "It's very upsetting. All I can say is that I put it together on behalf of other organisations, such as the church, school and village hall. I did absolutely everything to make every household aware of the event and in particular people with pets.

"I had no idea there were cows in that field at this time of year. I can honestly say I acted as responsible as I could have done."

The Bell pub in The Street laid on food and there was an Abba tribute band on the night.

Meanwhile, Bredhurst Parish Council has distanced itself from the incident, saying: "We hope you now understand why we are totally opposed to fireworks and the damage they cause, especially in a rural environments.

"The council has a strict 'no fireworks, Chinese lanterns or balloons' policy due to the harm these can inflict on horses, pets wildlife and crops."

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