A woman who was attacked and trampled by cows while walking in the Yorkshire Dales says she feared the animals were going to kill her.

The woman was walking alone with her dog in the early morning on the footpath at the National Trust owned tarn beauty spot when a herd of cows started running towards her.

She followed advice posted at the entrance to the estate and released her dog from its lead; but while it ran to safety, some of the cows continued towards her, threw her into the air and into a bog before running over her.

“I thought they were going to kill me but miraculously I escaped with cuts and bad bruises and a broken finger,” she said.

The woman managed to get away from the cattle and with no one else about - it was very early in the morning - drove herself to hospital where she spent the day being treated for a broken bone in her hand and cuts and bruises.

After the attack, which happened at around 6.30am on Bank Holiday Monday, she had to take the rest of the week off work, and when she does return, the manufacturing technician will initially be assigned to desk duties. The incident has also been reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

The woman, who asked not to be named, but lives in the area, and is well used to animals, said despite following the advice - which is posted at the entrance to the NT estate - she was attacked by the cattle; and wants other walkers to be aware.

“I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else - they might not be as lucky as I was,” she said.

In response, the National Trust has said such incidents are rare, but it does regularly review the use of its land by tenant farmers; it has also wished the woman a speedy recovery.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The cattle that attacked the woman

The woman said: “It was just me and my dog, there was nobody else around. It was about 6.30 am; I was trying to avoid the bank holiday crowds.

“I had the dog on a lead, she’s very rarely allowed off, and under close control. She’s used to horses so not reactive to large animals.

“When I realised the cows were running straight at me and the dog I let go of her and sent her away hoping that the cows would chase her and leave me alone.

“She ran away back towards the gate but the cows ignored her and kept coming towards me, throwing me into the air and about 6ft sideways away from the path into a boggy area.

“They continued to headbutt me until I was completely face down in the bog, then ran over the top of me.

“When I started shouting in panic the dog came back and the cows left me alone and backed off. The dog then sat and waited with me until I managed to get up.”

She added: “I managed to stagger back to the car, which was parked at Water Sinks Car Park, and have a cup of tea before driving home. I messaged my other half when I eventually got phone signal and he took me straight to Airedale Hospital. If there had been anyone else around I would have asked for assistance but there was nobody else around.”

At the hospital, she said the response from staff was ‘here’s a proper Airedale Incident’.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The woman suffered cuts and bruises and a broken finger

She added: “But they were amazed I walked away from it relatively unscathed. They did a full top to toe examination and x-rays to my left hand and left leg.

I have an interesting range of bruises all over me, shoulders, back, hip, bum, both legs and left arm /hand and leg and haven’t been able to sleep properly since it happened because I keep dreaming about it. I am having to have time off work, and I will be very worried about walking on footpaths through fields with cows in in future.”

A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “We are in touch with the individual and wish them a speedy recovery. Much of our land in the Yorkshire Dales is regularly grazed by livestock as well as being enjoyed as a public right of way. While our tenant farmers are ultimately responsible for taking steps to minimise the risk of incidents like this, the National Trust regularly reviews its own risk assessments and will put additional measures in place where needed.

“Thankfully, incidents like this are still a rare occurrence in the Dales, but we are keen to remind people to be mindful of their surroundings and adhere to any local signs or advice.”