TWO cows died on Rodborough Common in June of this year, just a month after they were released to graze over the Summer.

The cows were found wandering the common with serious injuries, believed to be consistent with having been in an accident with a car.

Speaking to the SNJ Mark Dawkins, who has worked as the hayward at the popular beauty spot for nearly 20 years, gave details of the incident: "We found two cows that were badly injured and unfortunately they had to be put down," Mr Dawkins explained.

"One cow was suffering from a broken jaw and the other appeared to have been driven into."

The SNJ understand that the cows were found in this condition on June 11 and June 17.

Stroud News and Journal:

One of the cows on Minchinhampton Common. Picture: Mike Barby of Gloucestershire Camera Club

Although only one cow was killed last year, the numbers for previous years are more alarming.

In fact 2016 saw seven cow deaths, there were six in 2015, and what is believed to be the highest number of deaths, with 12 cows dying in 2013.

It was hoped that the introduction of vehicle activated road signs would curtail the risk of injury to the cows.

These signs were funded for Minchinhampton Parish Council by Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl.

For those that are unaware, the cows are released onto the common every year on May 13 and this has become known as marking day.

Cows are allowed to roam free until October thanks to nine graziers who exercise ancient grazing rights to release their herds onto the commons.

A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that these incidents have not been reported to police.”