An expert witness told a court that a farmer was under no obligation to put up warning signs in a field where a woman was trampled by cows.

Peter Pitchford was called by Cumbria farmer John Cameron’s legal representatives in the case in which company director Shirley McKaskie is claiming £1m in compensation after she was knocked unconscious by a herd of cows at Greystoke.

Christopher Purchas QC, acting for Ms McKaskie, suggested that it was not a proper option to do nothing when cows with calves were put in a field in which there was a footpath. Mr Pitchford said: “I believe there is no legal obligation to force you to put up signs anywhere on a field to indicate what stock is there.”

He said the particular cows in question had given no rise to any cause for concern previously.

Ms McKaskie said that she would not have entered the field if she had known there were dangerous animals in it.

The hearing at Preston County Court heard that there had been 16 cases of people being killed or seriously injured by cows.

The case was adjourned.