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Keep your distance from animals

The New Forest is well-known for its roaming ponies, donkeys, cattle, pigs and in some places, sheep. For their safety and your own please don’t feed or pet them; there is plenty of natural food and it’s best that they don’t come to rely on people’s attention. They may look friendly but they are unpredictable and can bite and kick, especially mares with foals.

The feeding of ponies is against the byelaws and giving them human food, or even things like carrots, causes serious issues in the New Forest. Some ponies and donkeys develop an unhealthy craving for human food and become aggressive with people who, quite rightly, try to keep their picnics to themselves. The animals also tend to gather near roads, looking for people with food, and this makes them more vulnerable to traffic accidents. Human food also gives the ponies colic (bad stomach ache) which is very painful.

Head of Environment and Rural Economy


'To avoid damage and obstruction, please park only in designated car parks, not on a verge or in gateways.'

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