21 November, 2013
A woman escaped serious injury when two cows crashed through the roof of her workshop at her Cornish home.
Sue Marshall thought a tree had fallen on her property but was astonished to find a gaping hole in her roof and a dazed cow standing in her workshop having flattened some furniture but just missed the weaving loom she had been using earlier. No sooner had Mrs Marshall got the animal out of the door than a second cow plunged through the roof after it.
Both animals had been grazing in a neighbouring farmer’s field above the workshop and regional insurer Cornish Mutual – which dealt with the aftermath of the incident – says it’s an extraordinary example highlighting the need for farmers and land owners across the South West to make sure that their boundary fences are secure.
Mrs Marshall from Lamorna, near Penzance, picks up the story: “I was hoovering at the time and heard an almighty crash. I assumed that a tree had come down. I was astonished to find that a cow had fallen through the roof of the workshop, narrowly missing my loom and leaving a huge hole in the roof.
“No sooner had I let the startled animal out than another one fell through another part of the roof! Both cows narrowly missed the loom, which was incredibly fortunate, and neither was injured. I was in absolute shock.”
The falling cows caused damage to the roof, the internal ceiling, some glass panelling and a number of other items, such as chairs and a table, were broken as a result of the fall.
Mrs Marshall continues: “The two cows were clearly distressed, the first careered out of the yard into an adjacent field, the second decided to hang around and made a bit of mess of the garden. I looked up at the fence and saw the rest of the herd looking on, a helpful neighbour came to our aid and made sure no more came through the fence.
“We had to make the workshop waterproof, but I wasn’t able to continue working. It’s been quite a stressful experience; the cows clearly thought that there was some good grazing on the other side of the fence. The boundary has been repaired now so hopefully we won’t be getting any more uninvited guests.”
Alan Goddard, managing director for Cornish Mutual, said: “This very unusual case really does highlight the importance of keeping boundary fences in good condition.
“Fortunately no one was physically harmed and neither of the cows suffered any injuries. Livestock owners are potentially liable through common law and statute for accidents caused by animals straying, so land or animal owners should ensure that all fences are kept in reasonable order at all times.”