A WOMAN who helped rescue a man attacked by cows on The Meadows fears he could have been killed.

Adele Edwards, chairman of Friends of the Meadows, received a call from distressed resident Sue McAdam at 6pm on Sunday saying she had seen a man forced into the River Dee by aggressive cattle.

Miss Edwards went to the scene with Richard Lydon, a fellow member of the group and an experienced cow hand, to find the man still in the water.

She said: 'He thought he would have to swim across the river. If he had tried, he would not have got to the other side but would have been swept along by the currents and it would have been far too cold.

'It doesn't bear thinking about. Richard and I got there just in time.

'One of the cows had jumped on him and knocked him to the ground. I believe he has got a cracked rib.'

Miss Edwards, of Elizabeth Crescent, Queens Park, said the behaviour of the cattle was puzzling. They had been regarded as pets and given the names of Charlie, Creamy, Blackie II, Black-White, Gallie and Oddhorn.

'We have lived with these animals for so many years and never had any problems before,' she said. 'It's just a one-off but a one-off which could have resulted in a f atality.'

She said Mr Lydon was also attacked by one of the animals as he shouted and used sticks to move them just enough to allow the victim, from Whitby, Ellesmere Port, to escape with his dogs.

The 15-year-old cattle are understood to have belonged to farmer Mr Fishwick, of Barrow, but had been left to roam wild.

Cheshire County Council spokesman Ian Callister said Mr Fishwick was offered the choice of relocating the cattle or having them destroyed.

'The action, while sad, was in the best interests of the public,' he said.

Dog walker Dr Jonathan Stringer, an Ellesmere Port GP, who lives in Chester, said: 'It's a shame the cows have had to be destroyed but clearly they are not safe. The Meadows is common land and you have to take all reasonable and necessary precautions.'

Fellow dog walker Alison Siddall, of Hoole, said: 'It's sad but sensible if they have been attacking people.'

* It looks like cows will return to The Meadows after Chester City Council spokeswoman Kathryn McGiveron said the authority had an agreement with a farmer for another part of the site.

She said: 'The incident involving the cattle was not on council land and will not affect this agreement.'


What do you think? Should the cows have been shot? Write to The Chronicle, Commonhall Street, Chester CH1 2AA or e-mail newsdesk@cheshirenews.co.uk