The Health and Safety Executive has warned for the public to take care around livestock on their walks this Easter.

Thousands are expected to traverse the British countryside, a journey that could prove hazardous when passing through cattle-filled pastures.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) emphasises the importance of vigilance amongst farmers and walkers alike to prevent accidents, following several serious incidents between the public and cattle—some resulting in fatalities.

The HSE said between one and two walkers lose their lives each year on public footpaths, while others sustain severe injuries.

HSE inspector Wayne Owen warned: "All large animals can be a risk to people.

"Even a gentle knock from a cow can result in people being crushed or falling.

"All cattle should be treated with respect."

From the four landowners prosecuted in the past year for related negligence, one case regrettably led to a grandmother's death during a family walk.

Mr Owen added: "Farmers should carefully consider the risk before putting cattle into fields with footpaths, for example cows and calves are best kept in alternative fields."

He urges the public to follow the Countryside Code and for farmers to manage their herds responsibly, particularly those with cows and calves, or bulls, accounting for most injuries or deaths.