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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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Feed the ducks and enjoy an experience with wildlife

A mallard waiting to be fed
A mallard waiting to be fed

Feeding the ducks and other wildfowl is usually popular with children of all ages, and here in the New Forest there are many places where this most innocent of pastimes can be indulged.

Favourite places include Eyeworth Pond, near Fritham; Beaulieu Mill Pond; Hatchet Pond, near Beaulieu; Cadman’s Pool, a short distance to the south-west of Fritham and the Avon Water outflow at Keyhaven.

At all these locations, many of the water birds often readily accept close contact with people in return for a crust of bread, a bit of sandwich or some other tit-bit. Indeed, so used to being fed are they that many are usually surprisingly tame.

Robins, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, dunnocks and other birds also come down to take the food, whilst kingfishers can sometimes be glimpsed, little egrets and grey herons might be present and relatively unusual birds - such as goosanders - may also be seen.

In fact, such is the variety of birds and other creatures attracted to watery habitats and freely available food, that visits to these places are great ways for children and adults to experience New Forest wildlife without the need for lengthy walks in the countryside.

(B) - Beaulieu Mill Pond
(C) - Cadman's Pool
(E) - Eyeworth Pond
(H) - Hatchet Pond
(K) - Keyhaven

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** New Forest ponies **
New Forest ponies in the road
Ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during the first six months of 2018, 36 animals were killed or injured on Forest roads, compared with 26 in the same period in 2017, a shocking rise of 38%. And in the full year, 63 animals were killed on the roads compared to 56 in 2017.
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley