Pony-proof bins initiative to protect New Forest animals

pony-proof bin Brockenhurst Primary School

Published Tuesday 10 February 2015

Visitors to the New Forest are urged to help protect ponies and donkeys from potentially harmful food litter.

New Forest District Council (NFDC) and the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) are carrying out a joint initiative to install pony-proof bins at visitor hotspots to encourage safe waste disposal.

Brockenhurst is the latest village to benefit from the specially-designed wood-clad bins which have shallow openings for rubbish, preventing animals from pulling waste out of them. The new bin has been installed outside of Brockenhurst C of E Primary School.

The bins also carry an anti-litter message to keep the area clean and tidy: ‘Your food and litter could harm the ponies and donkeys. Please take yours home if this bin is full.’

The first pony-proof bins were installed in Burley in 2010 and 40 have already been installed across the district.

More are planned as ponies and donkeys remain at risk of eating unsuitable food and litter left by the public.

The bins are provided by NFDC and the engraving is carried out by the NPA.

Councillor Maureen Holding, NFDC chairman and NPA member, said: 'I hope visitors to Brockenhurst and the wider forest will help protect our animals from harm by using the pony-proof bins. By placing their rubbish in these specially designed bins, the public will keep the ponies and donkeys safe and the villages looking clean and tidy.'

Cllr Edward Heron, NFDC environment portfolio holder and NPA member added: 'This is an excellent ongoing joint initiative with the NPA and we hope that visitors will dispose of rubbish responsibly and never feed the animals with their food leftovers. If the litter bins are full, please take litter home.'

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the NPA, said: 'Ponies are well adapted to living in the forest and there is more than enough food for them; a diet of gorse, grass and holly suits them best.

'Unfortunately ponies can become used to human food and some become aggressive when fed, or when people refuse to feed them. After eating human food, ponies can also easily develop colic which is sometimes fatal.'


Notes to editors

Picture caption: Local children Isabelle and Lawrence with NFDC Chairman Councillor Maureen Holding. Credit - New Forest District Council

Contacts: Kate Williams, corporate communications officer 023 80285588 Email:kate.williams@nfdc.gov.uk

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