Help protect New Forest foals

Published Thursday 13 May 2010

After a long and difficult winter spring is finally here in the New Forest National Park - everywhere you turn there are signs of life and none are more recognisable than a New Forest foal.

However, despite the joy they bring there is a more serious side. Young foals have little or no road sense and recent research from the New Forest National Park Authority and the Verderers has shown that foals only have a 50 per cent survival rate if they are hit by a car or involved in a road traffic accident.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Visitor and Recreation Services, said: ‘In 2009, 46 foals were hit by cars - 24 of them died, which is not only distressing for the mother of the foal, but also the commoner and those involved in the accident too.

‘We are urging people to be especially careful when driving through the New Forest between May and November. As the foals get older they become more playful and will often gallop across a road with little or no warning. Even minor accidents can be deadly.’

The New Forest National Park Authority and Verderers have been working on a series of campaigns to try and reduce the number of animal accidents; they want as many people as possible to carry an ‘animal accident hotline card.

Nigel added: ‘A hotline card’ is the same size as a credit card and fits perfectly in your wallet. It tells you who to call if you see or are involved in an animal accident.’

Animal accidents cards are available at many outlets throughout the New Forest or can be downloaded from the animal accidents page.

-ends-

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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