Don't sit on fence over field danger

A farmer is worried someone could get hurt by stampeding cattle if steps aren't taken to beef up a boundary fence.
Clark FergusonClark Ferguson
Clark Ferguson

Seventy cows have been cooped up in a shed for the last month because Clark Ferguson reckons the field they’re usually in is too dangerous.

He said cattle have escaped several times from the field adjoining Whittagreen Crescent, Newarthill, and have even been found on the main road through the village.

Mr Ferguson, pictured, said sections of the wooden fence have been removed over the years, but North Lanarkshire Council has failed to replace them.

He added: “I’ve made temporary repairs and done the best I can to make the field secure, but it’s the council’s responsibility and I’m not doing it anymore.

“Apart from that, there are bits of wood with nails exposed and I’m worried this sort of thing could cause serious damage to an animal.

“As a result the cows have been in a shed for the last month.

The field has plenty of grass for eating, but we’re having to give them feed which is more expensive and we’re paying rent on a field we’re not using.”

Mr Ferguson and his cousin Scott Cookson run S&C Farms and as well as the cattle have 200 sheep.

He explained: “Our family have been using this field for about 20 years but we’ve been having problems regarding the fence for at least five.

“It seems every year at some stage the cows get out. On the last occasion, I got a call from the police at 3.30 in the morning.

“Thirty cows had escaped and we needed help from another farmer to round them up. Some were on Carfin Road, which is the main road in Newarthill.

“Luckily none was hurt, but I’m worried about the cost to us if there is an accident or damage is caused.”

The Times asked North Lanarkshire Council for comment on Mr Ferguson’s claim that it has responsibility for the fence, but there was no response before we went to press.