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New Forest
Explorers Guide
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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 and other animals**
New Forest ponies in the road
Commoners' ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during 2019 agisters attended 159 road traffic accidents involving these animals, a small but disappointing increase on the 154 accidents attended in 2018.

Sadly, 58 animals were killed - 35 ponies, 13 cows, 8 donkeys and 2 sheep, whilst a further 32 were injured - 3 pigs, 9 donkeys, 11 cows and 9 ponies.

(Forty-three accidents occurred in daylight, 15 at twilight and 101 in the dark. Twenty-seven accidents were not reported by the driver involved).
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley