New Forest animal accidents and road deaths
Over 100 each year please take care.

New Forest animal accidents

What do you do if you hit an animal? 

Always report it immediately

Ring 999 If you are involved in a road traffic accident 


For a sick, injured or dead: pony, cow, donkey, pig or sheep (other than an RTA)

02380 282052OFFICE HOURS 0300 067 4600AFTER HOURS


For incidents involving deer

Deer (which are classed as wild animals) should also be reported to Forestry England or if unavailable, to the Police.

0300 067 4600ALL HOURS

For more Police details and where you stand legally visit my animal accidents info

The 2023 report below shows just how many of our animals have been killed or injured on the roads  last year.

30 January 2024

New Forest Animal Accidents 2023 show rise in hit and run incidents 

The Verderers of the New Forest have released the details of Road Traffic Accidents involving Commoners livestock for 2023. The overall number of accidents rose from 82 in 2022 to 92 in 2023.  In total, 27 ponies died compared to 34 in 2022.

While the number of New Forest ponies that died due to accidents dropped, the number of cattle, pigs and sheep that lost their lives increased.

Figures show that in 2023, the worst road for animal accidents was the B3054 road from Dibden to Lymington. Over a 10-day period in September, four ponies died on a one mile stretch of that road.  Over the entire year, around a quarter (22) of all accidents involving animals and half (14) of the ponies killed occurred on this road.

The most disappointing figure for Commoners and the Forest organisations working to reduce these accidents are the amount of hit and runs. A total of 18 drivers failed to report an incident to the police despite it being a legal requirement to do so within 24 hours.

Head Agister, Jonathan Gerrelli said: “While most people do report an accident at the time, unfortunately we had a spate this autumn where several drivers failed to do so.”

The Animal Accident Reduction Group is working with multiple agencies and groups to help reduce accidents. Operation Mountie, a Hampshire Police led operation to reduce speeding across the New Forest found that only 26% of people stopped for speeding knew who to call if they had an accident with a Forest animal.

Gilly Jones from New Forest Roads Awareness said: “We are working with the Commoners’ Defence Association to relaunch the Real New Forest Business Group, which works with companies in and around the New Forest to educate their staff and customers on Forest road safety and explain the correct protocol if they are unlucky enough to witness or be involved in an accident”.

The Commoners Defence Association is continuing this year to put out salt licks on the open Forest along the B3078 Roger Penny Way to try and prevent animals licking the salt on the roads.

Sue Westwood, Clerk of the Verderers of the New Forest said: “Speed is not always the reason for accidents, livestock can be on the roads day and night, and the animals are unpredictable.”

Charlotte Belcher, Community Manager for Forestry England, said: “Everyone travelling through the Forest needs to take extra care especially at this time of year when the weather and light can be unpredictable.  Many motorists tell us that they know the risks but think that it won’t happen to them, the figures make it clear that accidents can happen to anyone at any time of the day or night. We can all improve safety by driving with care through this special place and making sure we pass animals wide and slow.”

PCSO Richard Williams from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said: “This is a serious issue which has huge significance for the local community. We are committed to ensuring that the New Forest remains a safe place for animals to roam freely, while reducing the number of serious collisions.  We will continue to work with key partners to raise awareness of animals killed by collisions and improve safety.             


“There are a number of factors that can result in a collision with an animal, and we want motorists to be mindful of their speed when using the Forest’s roads. Remember, a speed limit is exactly that – a limit. Not a target. Driving to the road conditions especially in reduced visibility gives drivers the best chance to react to any animals in the vicinity of the road. It is simply not worth the risk. There are consequences for drivers, the animals, and the owners of the animals, and we are seeking to reduce harm and preserve the unique environment of the New Forest.”

Steve Avery, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning from the New Forest National Park Authority said: “It’s extremely disappointing to see a rise again in animal accidents after the numbers have been consistently decreasing. Each animal death is a great loss to its owner and the Forest as the livestock have a crucial role to play in sustaining its rare habitats through their grazing.”


“Accidents need to be reported to the police as soon as possible, and within 24 hours, even if the animal runs away. We urge all drivers to carry an animal accident card or keep the numbers in the phones.”


Animal accidents cards and car window stickers are available at community outlets throughout the Forest as well as from the New Forest National Park Authority office at Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9ZG.

More information on what to do if drivers have an accident involving an animal in the New Forest can be found here. Businesses wanting to get involved in the campaign to increase safety on New Forest Roads can contact to find out more.


A reward of up to £5,000 may be offered for information which results in the successful conviction of a driver who fails to report having collided with a commoners’ animal.


Media Contacts

Gilly Jones

New Forest Road Awareness

07798 893251

Susan Smith

Communications Officer, South Forest District, Forestry England

07384 87843 

Susan Smith

Communications Officer

Forestry England, South District

07384 878434



The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorised to receive it. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking action in relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

Urgent Road Safety Information for Visitors and More Importantly Locals!

Please watch this video. It explains just how carefully you need to drive on our New Forest roads and that the animals who roam freely have right of way - perhaps something you weren't aware of? 

The New Forest National Park Authority have just published statistics and a map of the most dangerous roads. 

Sadly, an Agister may be called to an accident but the animal will have run off. This often means the animal dies on the open forest. All animals you see on the New Forest are owned by a Commoner, and as one myself I know how devastated, most owners are when their animals are killed.

Who do I ring to report I've hit a New Forest animal?

Recent New Forest Animal Accidents

Horrific road accident resulting in the death of a 5yr old mare and her foal 30 Jan 2017

Yet another road accident on the horrendous Roger Penny Road. Warning the Daily Echo coverage contains graphic images. There have been suggestions to fence off this road which I totally disagree with. It will not slow down traffic (have you travelled along the fenced off A35 - we've nearly been killed in a car many times on this road!) If you enter the New Forest, over a cattle grid i.e. from A31 at Cadnam, you MUST SLOW DOWN! The New Forest is not an extension or cut through of the A31/M27/A338 but an environment you should respect and take care on - at all times. 

New Forest animal accidents urgent message - have you got details of a Jaguar car involved?

If you scroll down to my Comments page you'll see Una has posted a tragic pony death she sadly saw on 7 June. Here is a link to the Bournemouth Echo article which gives details of this callous accident where a pregnant mare was left to die in the middle of the road. Do you know of a Jaguar driver who has body damage? £1000 reward for a successful conviction via The Verderers.

New Forest Animal Accidents archive info

June 26th 2015

A brown filly foal was involved in an accident on 26th June at 10pm on the B3055(West) road in Sway. It would still be light at this time of night and so the driver may have been speeding or not taken into accont that a foal will jump about in glee at life, often near the roadside. A sad end to a very short life.

Update 20 April 2015

Hit and Run near Telegraph Hill B3079 - do you know someone with recent body damage?

Over the last 2 weeks I had been really excited as The Verderers animal accident list was published with no animal casualties. Sadly this has ended in a brutal way.

Here are the details. Please phone 101 and quote crime reference number 44150132835 if you have any info.

From: Quote"Oliver Hulse (Police, Country Watch PCSO, Hampshire Country Watch)

Hampshire Police are appealing for any information regarding a New Forest pony that was involved in a Hit and Run incident which occurred on the 20th April 2015 at around 21:30 in the location of Telegraph Hill on the B3079. The involved vehicle described as being a dark coloured car, possibly a ford which was seen driving towards the Fritham direction without stopping following this incident. Unfortunately the Pony had to be dispatched at the road side following the injuries sustained.

Were you in the area around this time?
Do you know of a similar vehicle which has sustained bodywork damage recently?
Are you able to help? If you have any information that may assist our enquiries, then please phone 101 and quote crime reference number 44150132835

Thank you

PCSO Olie Hulse13390"

Please help if you can. Often cars sustain a circle dent to the bonnet of the car if it is a full on hit but not necessarily in all accidents involving ponies and other New Forest animals. (The Verderers have this logged as B3078 Longcross)

Don't forget if you have info re a Hit&Run involving a New Forest animal,which leads to a successful conviction, there is a £1000 reward.

Update December 2014

As well as losing 3 donkeys in one horrific road accident a couple of weeks ago, we have now lost Jo Jo a 6 month old donkey foal to a road death accident. Ironically she had been part of a road safety campaign to help young drivers who attend Brockenhurst College be aware and drive safely under the Drive Safe initiative.

The BBC ran the story of this tragic death and you can find out more details here.

As is often the case in road deaths like this Jo Jo's mother is distraught. However feels animals have no feelings is very, very wrong. The New Forest animals who encounter death by dangerous sppeeds, inconsiderate and ignorant drivers and speeding idiots have no idea the suffering they cause to either a bereaved foal or mother. But do they care??

New Forest animal accidents on the forest roads, involving ponies and other animals increase at the onset of the clock changes we make in October, ready for winter. The clock change can be very bad news for the ponies and other animals. Road deaths or injuries involving the animals you see every day and grow to love, are the worst part of living on the New Forest.

A friend of mine, a Commoner, lost a 6 week old foal. It was a hit and run, probably by a lorry, which may or may not have known it hit the poor little chap. It was also probably instantaneous, which is better. However, this was the mares first ever foal and so her trauma was extreme.

New Forest animal accidents and deaths rise year on year. I find it horrible and extemely upsetting (who wouldn't!) to see dead or dying victims either in or beside the road - especially when it could often be avoided. Road deaths should be extemely rare. The ponies, donkeys, cows and pigs have the right to roam the Forest and they should always be given the right of way.

You may find the New Forest National Parks Authority animal accident data map helpful. Some areas are far more dangerous than others.

Quite a few of these New Forest animal accidents are caused by locals not tourists. They often either live within the National Park or on its borders and so cut across it to go to work etc.

I've met people who think the animals are a nuisance! How amazing is that? I've also been advised to "drive on" if I hit one, rather than incur a large fine - as if I could drive on.

To me living on the New Forest is a privilege - the fact that I am surrounded by ponies, donkeys, cows and pigs in a beautiful environment is a unique privilege - why would I not respect this?

Visitors tend to view the forest as the unique place it is and slow down to see the beauty of a donkey or piglet crossing the road in front of them.

New Forest National Park animal accidents - how can you help?

Here are some steps you can take if driving on the forest roads

  • Slow down - the speed limit is 40m.p.h (30m.p.h in some areas)
  • Take extra care at night - most incidents happen at night
  • Look out for reflective neckbands - it means an animal so slow down
  • If you witness an accident - report it - there is a £1000 reward for
    information leading to a successful prosecution - they may take more care next time

New Forest Animal Accident Horse Watch Hampshire advice.

I belong to Horse Watch Hampshire. The latest newsletter tells us of local equine thefts etc. Once again horse rugs are being stolen - please paint yours with your postcode to make them less attractive and easily identifiable. Poaching is also taking place too. I thought it might be interesting to pass on the following information about New Forest animal accidents and advice to prevent road deaths from their latest bulletin.

All drivers must drive on New Forest roads with the expectation that animals will be on the road, more so at night.

The Law

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 170, it is a legal requirement to report any road accident which causes damage to any animal which is not on or in the vehicle involved as soon as possible and within 24 hours. Currently only dogs, horses, sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, ass and mules are included.

Definition of a road traffic collision

The law defines a reportable road traffic collision as an accident involving a mechanically-propelled vehicle on a road or other public area which causes:

  • Injury or damage to anybody - other than the driver of that vehicle,
  • Injury or damage to an animal- other than one being carried on that vehicle (an animal is classed as a horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog).
  • Damage to a vehicle - other than the vehicle which caused the accident.
  • Damage to property constructed on, affixed to, growing in, or otherwise forming part of the land where the road is.

If they take place in a public place the police can investigate off-road collisions, for example, collisions in car parks (and there are lots in the New Forest), which, because they are open to the public, are deemed public places.

Remember in the New Forest:

  • Even if the animal runs off it may have serious injuries
  • Forest animals have no road sense and have right of way
  • Drive slowly, especially at night, and give animals a wide berth
  • If you feed animals they may stay by the road and get killed

If you hit any animal as defined under the Road Traffic Act you have to stop and report the matter to the police. Any free roaming animal injured by your vehicle does not have to be reported to the police. However, it may be worth contacting the police to inform them of the incident. It is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to leave any animal injured and suffering. If you run over/strike an animal you will know its almost bound to be injured. If you fail to stop or drive off after seeing that it is hurt a witness could report your registration number to the police.

Verderers of the New Forest animal accident info

New Forest animal accidents to ponies, donkeys, cows, pigs and deer can be reported using this really handy new card which has been produced by the New Forest National Parks Authourity

I've downloaded it and keep it in my car: This  Emergency card for New Forest animal opens a 2 page PDF document which you can print off and save. (Go to the top of the page and page down to 2 for the next page and the emergency numbers)

Just in case you may have trouble printing this off here are the numbers if you need to report New Forest animal accidents:

  • Police Emergency 24 hrs 999 for all road traffic accidents involving ponies, donkeys, pigs, cattle, sheep.

  • Police Non emergency 101

  • Forestry Commission 24 hrs 0300 067 4600 for sick, injured or distressed pony, cow, donkey, pig or deer.

  • Verderers Office 9am to 5pm Mon to Fri 023 8028 2052 If you find a sick, injured or dead pony, cow, donkey, pig or sheep (other than one involved in a RTA)

When you drive on the roads you may see a yellow triangle by the roadside. This means one (or more) ponies, donkeys, cows or pigs may have been killed or seriously injured within the last week.

This may be an area where road kill or injury figures are high so please take extra care - you never know what might be round the next corner, but you can be sure they have no road sense at all!

Please help to make the coming seasons as safe as possible on the roads. Help to keep all the ponies, donkeys, cows and pigs (and piglets) safe and New Forest animal accident figures down.

We can enjoy seeing them each time we go out into the beautiful and unique New Forest, and know we've played our part in keeping them safe.

Help for both horse and rider

I know there are many horse riders and owners who either live or visit the New Forest UK National Park. I have just discovered a really wonderful information source for us to use.

The British Horse Society has recently set up a website for reporting equestrian incidents. It is called Horse Accidents.

  • You can report an incident throughout the UK via a handy online map
  • It can cover road accidents, dog attacks, gates, fireworks, low flying aircraft, slippery surfaces, wind farms. The Free Text Box allows you to log other types of incidents too
  • By reporting these incidents you are helping to provide statistics which may help improve legislation for the horse and rider in the future
  • Advice and Prevention information can help keep us safe for either off or on road riding
  • Online mapping shows you where recent accidents and incidents have occurred - you may be visiting an area with your horse and discover that part of the route you hoped to ride has a history of incidents
  • The About Horse Accidents page tells you why it is vital to collate animal accidents in this way. If your incident cannot be classified it can still be logged via the website and passed on to the safety team

I think this is a great resource. I hope it can ensure that the pleasure we get from horse riding can become safer and be backed up by more relevant legislation to protect both horse, rider and road user in the future.

With equine and also agricultural safety still in mind I've discovered a great resource for you to buy all your fire risk assessment signs and other invaluable safety items for your yard, stable, or barn. Rural Safety Signs have everything to offer you to protect your animals and business too. Their fire and emergency information box is a great piece of kit should you experience a fire.

Share your views on New Forest animal accidents.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Volunteer Road Patrol to Bring Down Speed & Campaign for 30mph on New Forest Roads? 
Last night, 7th June 2016, whilst driving back from Lymington to Ringwood and on the stretch of road approaching Burley I saw what appeared to be a pony …

High Viz Neck Collars 
I note a few (very few) of the ponies in the New Forest wear reflective collars - obviously fitted by caring owners - would it be worth a campaign to make …

Julia  Not rated yet
I have lived in or close by to the New Forest all of my life but have never seen before the horrific sight of mutilated ponies laid out on the side of …

Forestry Commission Guidance Leaflet - Mis leading and non effective. Not rated yet
Yesterday whilst cycling in the New Forest, which I do regularly I came across a group of people socialising with four donkeys grazing along the roadside. …

Mrs Oliver Not rated yet
I can clearly see how and why so many accidents involving animals happen. I have just cycled through the forest on bank holiday Monday evening (at …

Mr maurice e boyce  Not rated yet
When ever my brother and i drive through our forst , i see many drivers over-take us ,even when we slow-up because there is an animal in front of us ! …

Overtaken by cars on way to work Not rated yet
I drive at the speed limit and sometimes less when it is dark or bad weather, when going to work and back home through the Forest. However, …

Why don't drivers respect the New Forest animals more? Not rated yet
Every day I drive over the New Forest I see drivers going too fast! Why don't they slow down? Have you ever hit an animal? the impact on your car will …

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