New Forest dangers lurk everywhere within this beautiful environment - but........ that doesn't mean you won't enjoy your visit! I thought I'd give you a few of my personal tips to keep everyone as safe as possible.
New Forest Dangers to our animals
Every year there are horrendous road death and injury figures. As Commoners we all hope our ponies, donkeys, cows, pigs and sheep stay safe from road accidents but sadly many suffer for various reasons. Here are a few reasons
Careless driving - animals by the roadside are a danger to themselves and you! A New Forest pony or other animal may move out into the road at any time - they have no road sense at all and may suddenly spook or just step out in front of a car! Please slow down, give them a wide berth and take care - for both your sakes.
Feeding animals by the roadside - if you encourage our animals to come to your car for food they will look for cars to get food - this is when some are killed!
The New Forest is a living, working forest and the animals are vital to everyone. We can all enjoy them together and keep them safe, whenever possible.
Dangers to our animals
Doing the wrong thing?
Feeding - if you feed our animals you may cause them a painful slow death through colic.
They have plenty of food to eat from natural sources and definitely don't need a treat from a well meaning visitor or new resident.
Litter - I get many questions about the New Forest pigs. They're out and about on the forest and are really fun to watch! I recently saw a lovely little gang of 12! with their mum. I had to wrestle a plastic bag off one piglet so please always take your litter home - it could save a piglet life!
Grass mowings and some plants can kill - again through colic. I have seen a lovely mare writhing in agony as her foal looked on. She had eaten grass mowings put out by a local who didn't realise their danger. She was taken off the New Forest and destroyed. I don't know what happened to her little foal.
Touching - they are lovely to look at but are also wild. Some may be friendlier than others but they can all kick or bite! Please don't risk it!
Dangers to you
The New Forest is a wonderful place to visit but...............
New Forest dangers do lurk here!
Mires and bogs - yes this is a fantastic environment but some areas get very wet and boggy. usually they'll result in a soggy welly and sock but sometimes it can be a bit more dangerous. Find out what happened to my son a few years ago. he can confirm - some of them are very deep!
Cows (and also other animals with their young) - a few weeks ago we had a cow accident. Despite being Commoners and knowing to be careful when any of the animals have their young near them we were attacked by a cow! We hadn't seen a cow and her calf but she had seen us and charged around a blind corner and knocked my husband flying - very dangerous so please give cows in particular a very wide berth!
Dangers to you
Fungi - New Forest fungi is fantastic! Unsurprisingly many of these spectacular fungi are deadly poisonous. We all know that they should not be touched but our children and dogs need to be kept an eye on during the fungi season which runs from late August to November, depending on weather conditions each year.
The New Forest rule is look, enjoy and leave them as you found them. Recently many fungi has been taken home or sold to high end restaurants. This is now totally banned! I actually found a family with a big bag of fungi they'd gathered to take home - they were actually trying to feed one fungi to my pony!!! This wasn't done with malice just ignorance and luckily enough my New Forest pony knew not to eat fungi. Unbelievable.
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Please visit us here in the New Forest and have a great time in this wonderful environment. New Forest dangers do exist as this is a living, working forest but with care your trip should be fantastic! Enjoy!!