A picture Paula took before another cow attacked her from the side (Image: LeicesterMercury)

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A woman was headbutted by a cow as she tried to take photos of a herd on a sunset walk through a country park.

Paula Bradley, 53, has been left with bruises and cuts all over her body after the angry animal "knocked her off her feet" in Beacon Hill, Leicestershire.

She had been strolling with her cousin Rosie trying to enjoy the views when she crossed paths with the cattle and decided to snap some pictures, reports Leicestershire Live.

But now she's warning others of the dangers of getting too close to a herd after the unexpected attack at about 8pm on Friday.

Paula was left bruised and swollen after the sudden attack
(Image: LeicesterMercury)

NatWest bank worker Paula, from Loughborough, said: "We'd just walked up the hill and Rosie was taking pictures of the sunset and I was photographing the cows.

"I wasn't close to any of them – I stayed about 10ft away.

"I was looking through the lens so I wasn't too aware of the changing situation. But another cow had come up beside me.

"I spotted it just as it knocked me off my feet."

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She managed to scramble away to safety but the spot where she was hit – on her side and her legs – were badly bruised and beginning to swell. She also scratched her arm as she fell.

Paula added: "Luckily the cow got me with its head and not the horn – they have big horns.

"It was so painful. People said I should get it looked at but it's just bruising. I took some paracetamol and put ice on the bruising.

"It was pretty badly swollen and I haven't been able to go out on my bike this weekend because of it."

Now Paula is urging others who cross paths with the animals to proceed with caution – no matter how picturesque they look.

She added: "It's nice to see cows wandering about up there but they can turn.

"We sometimes have Rosie's dog with us and let it run around up there but I'd be worried about doing that now."

The park, which is known for its craggy rocks – which date back about 700 million years – is home to English longhorn and Highland cattle, which "graze the heathland throughout the year".

The rules require dogs to be kept under "close control" but there is no mention of any danger from the livestock.