Preston man dresses as cow to help fellow walkers overcome cattle fear

The organiser of the Preston Walx group headed out on their Monday walk dressed up as a cow to help members overcome their fears of cattle.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 12:14 pm

Matt Gibbs, a Walx Master who set up a local group in Preston started the local group seven years ago for people to get out and about and improve their fitness alongside like-minded people whilst enjoying and exploring local green spaces.

And since then, he said there have been members join who are left struck with fear when approaching fields of cows on their group walks.

He saw a golden opportunity last week when scrolling through social media site Facebook, when he came across an all-in-one cow costume and thought it would be a great opportunity to surprise the group.

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Walx organiser Matt dressed as a cow on Mondays walk

Matt, 47, said: "There are a number of people in our group who are frightened of cows, and when we go for walks and approach fields, a couple of people are too scared to go through them.

"It is a running joke with members, where they post pictures in our group of nearby fields with cows in, saying they wouldn't enjoy walking through it.

"I saw the opportunity when this cow costume appeared on my Facebook feed and thought I would wear it on our next walk and jump out from the bushes to surprise them. It was essential for them to face their fears and was just a light-hearted moment to humour the group based on their fear of cows."

The Walx group in Preston is a community of people who are building their fitness whilst enjoying the outdoors and making new friends each week.

The idea was set to tackle the walker's fears of cows

Organiser Matt hosts different difficulties of walks each week, giving people the opportunity to explore new routes in their local area of Preston.

It was first spurred on following his struggle with his weight, high blood pressure and chronic back problems that made him more determined to improve his health and fitness.

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WALX Preston: The walking group with a difference getting folks out and about

He added: "Our group is all based on fun, fitness and friendship. We risk assess all our routes and try to avoid dangerous situations but of course, there are times when you come across a field and have to walk through herds of cows.

The Walx group takes on different difficulties of walks locally

"They are not dangerous but they can approach you, and some members of our group feel really uncomfortable with it so dressed up as a cow to deliver a session around understanding and managing the meeting of cows when out on a walk.

"The overarching aim of the group is just to support people in building their confidence and general level of health and fitness. We promote the message that everyone can change and improve their physical health and mental wellbeing.

"We create this support structure that local people can join and made friends in."

Find out more information at the Preston Walx website page.

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