What’s being done?
We help coordinate the Animal Accident Reduction Group which meets twice a year to review recent accident records and consider what more can be done about them.
This group is attended by representatives from the Verderers/Agisters, Commoners Defence Association, New Forest National Park Authority, New Forest District Council, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Constabulary, Forestry Commission, New Forest Trust, New Forest Association and British Deer Society.
Data collection, collation and analysis are important aspects of the work, as these enable actions to be targeted where they will have most effect. Coordination of activities is equally important to ensure organisations work together wherever possible.
Each organisation leads on different initiatives which can grouped into the following categories:
- Road signs and road markings – essential, though ‘less can be more’
- Speed limits, detection, training and enforcement – important but remember that 40mph can kill
- Traffic calming, for example through width restrictions – potentially effective but unpopular with many people
- Increasing the visibility of ponies – verge cutting and collars work
- Influencing animal behaviour – fences and cattle grids work but beyond this the animals have a mind of their own
- Publicity, publications and articles – constant ‘educational’ initiatives and always more to do
- Schools and families – important both for now and the future.