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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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Browse lines

A browse line on the edge of Mallard Wood
A browse line on the edge of Mallard Wood

Many trees in the New Forest show a horizontal skirt at just above head height, often parallel to the ground, below which there is no growth.

This is particularly common in the New Forest’s unenclosed woodlands in which commoners’ stock, and deer freely roam. Indeed, it is characteristic of these woods.

The skirt is known as a ‘browse line’, and it indicates the height to which the stock and deer can reach when feeding on leaves and branches.

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** New Forest ponies and other animals**
The New Forest
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).

Here's just one horrific example - Three donkeys killed in collision with van at notorious New Forest blackspot (Advertiser and Times)
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley