MEMBERS of the public are being urged not to leave buckets of water out for New Forest ponies on hot days.

One of the Forest’s top public figures has underlined the potential dangers to ponies, cattle and donkeys after concerns were raised by animal-lover Mary Bray at the Court of Verderers.

She said well-meaning residents living beside busy roads had been leaving water out for the animals.

The Official Verderer, Lord Manners, said ponies attracted to roads by the prospect of a cooling drink were at risk of being involved in an accident.

Lord Manners, who succeeded Dominic May as Official Verderer in May, added: “The animals are perfectly able to find natural water for themselves.

“For all the reasons mentioned, we would be grateful if local residents would not put out buckets of water.”