Cows returning to Gloucestershire commons this week

The public are being called on to allow cattle their own "social distance" as they are once again released onto commons in Gloucestershire this week.

The cattle will be allowed to roam across Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons for the summer season.

Each year, Marking Day on May 13 marks the date on or after which graziers can release their livestock to roam the ancient grasslands for the summer. The free roaming cattle are essential to keep the grasslands rich in nature.

Though marking now takes place elsewhere, the date is still just as important to graziers.

The return of the animals to the commons, which will see them free to graze across over 700 acres of National Trust land, has seen the public urged to take extra care on the commons both on foot and on the roads.

This includes giving the animals plenty of space and passing slowly in vehicles so as not to disturb and disrupt the animals.

Livestock worrying is a criminal offence under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. Attacking livestock, chasing livestock in such a way that it may be reasonable to expect the dog to cause injury or suffering to livestock as well as abortion in female animals, and not being at close control on a lead in a field where there are livestock are all considered worrying.