A DRIVER who collided with a calf that bolted from a field after being “spooked by poachers” was lucky not to have been killed, says a Lytchett Minster farmer.

Clare Lees, of Post Green Farm, says she was certain the large longhorn calf jumped the fence on to unlit Blandford Road because of deer poachers hunting on her land.

Dorset Police were called to the area after a shocked motorist reported hitting the animal on Sunday, February 23. The impact did not cause any significant damage to the Citroen car and the female driver was not injured.

“That woman had a terribly lucky escape,” Mrs Lees said.

“She could have been killed, it was dark and this could have been a major, major accident.”

One of Mrs Lees’ neighbours called her, around 8pm, to say he’d pinned the animal into a driveway near Beacon Hill Caravan Park after spotting it running along the road.

In order to make the telephone call, he’d left the stressed animal with three young men who happened to be in the area, said the farmer.

“By the time he went back, these three young men had left in their van,” said Mrs Lees.

“No animal will leave the field unless it’s frightened out of there. A calf will never leave its mother unless it’s terrified.”

Mrs Lees says she’s certain poachers spooked her animal.

She said: “By the time we dashed up the road about 8.30pm the police were all over the place because the car had already hit it.

“They were trying to find the calf that had eventually got back into the field a different way. I’d like the poachers to realise that someone could have been killed. I just don’t think they realise how dangerous it is, and what the consequences can be, of going on to fields with animals in them.”

Mrs Lees says the calf did not sustain any serious injury.

Last November the Daily Echo reported how five cows wandered off Upton Heath after the fencing was deliberately cut.

On that occasion, Nigel Brooks from Dorset Wildlife Trust said the fencing was probably cut by poachers, who opened it up so that deer could be run through and caught.