A primary school whose playing field was invaded by cows earlier this year has been given the go-ahead to erect a new perimeter fence.
A dozen bovines from a neighbouring field burst onto land belonging to John Cross Church of England Primary School in Bilsborrow, north of Preston – just 48 hours after the school’s sports day back in June.
“I think they were quite attracted by our nice green grass,” said headteacher Liam Reynolds.
The cows made their grand entrance via a gap caused by damage to existing low-level fencing during severe weather.
The replacement fence will be 1.8m high – a common standard for school fencing – and will extend further around the school’s boundary than is currently the case.
Lancashire County Council’s development control committee granted permission for the work, but one of its members was dismayed that such stringent security features were now deemed necessary.
“I do think we live in a sad and paranoid age, when we feel that we have to fortify our schools even though they sit at the heart of the communities which they serve,” County Coun Cosima Towneley said.
But, speaking after the meeting, Mr Reynolds said that the unexpected appearance of the cows illustrated a serious point.
“The children use the area for forest school work and it is close to [neighbouring] woodland and next to the busy A6, so we have to make sure that it is secure.
“The new fence will not be obtrusive and will be located on the inside of the current hedgerow at the front of the school, which is about the same height as what is proposed. We have good relations with our neighbours and I can assure people that they are not suddenly going to be faced with an eyesore,” Mr Reynolds added.
The fence along the boundary with the A6 will be a black 'bow top' style, while a green mesh design will be introduced around other parts of the perimeter. Existing fencing close to the school entrance and along the border with Church Lane will remain unaltered.
Committee member County Coun Andrea Kay said that she felt the proposal was “paramount for the safety of the children”.