Cottingley pensioner's fury as cows wreck her lifetime's work garden (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Shirley Thompson's pride and joy is ruined after cattle break through fencing
A keen gardener’s pride and joy was wiped out in minutes after a runaway bull and three cows rammed through a fence, wreaking havoc.
For four decades Shirley Thompson, 68, has lovingly nurtured her small but perfect garden at her home in Marchcote Lane, Cottingley, but it was destroyed in a flash when the cows from a nearby field trampled it yesterday.
Pots were upturned and smashed, plants uprooted, roses ripped up, peas and raspberries ripped from their canes, a climbing clematis trashed and a pond smashed. Even trees planted from seed by her children, now in their 30s, were ruined.
A heartbroken Mrs Thompson said: “It’s all gone, there’s nothing left to save. It’s taken years to bring on and it all went in minutes.”
She said she had spoken three times in the past few weeks to farmer John Ludbrook, of Cliffe Farm, Cottingley, about his cattle and sheep threatening to come into her garden.
“I’ve spoken to him on the phone a few times and just the day before spoke to him in person when he was looking over a wall into the field. Nothing was done though and now it’s too late,” she said. “We’d had the sheep poking their heads and shoulders through the hedge before but then they all came and came in force.”
It was Mrs Thompson’s neighbours who were first to hear the rumpus on Monday and eventually managed to shoo the cattle back into the field.
“It was very brave of them. Apparently they were all bashing up against the conservatory window because they wanted to get to the greenery inside.
“I think they were hungry. What we want is for the farmer to put up a proper stock fence that will keep them in the field and out of my garden.”
Mrs Thompson said she had phoned the farm and spoken to Mrs Ludbrook who, she claimed, put the phone down on her. She also contacted the police but was told it was not criminal damage so they could not get involved.
Mrs Ludbrook said after the incident: “It’s pathetic how she rang this morning. My husband’s been in bed with gout. I’ve had four children to look after, had to run a farm and a business. I’m upset. I did send our 15-year-old son down to have a look at it the day before and we’ll be looking at the fence again but she’s got to understand it’s a 50-50 thing, it’s not all our responsibility. She’ll have to put a fence up on her side as well.”
- Read the full story Tuesday’s T&A