A VIDEO warning drivers to take extra care in the New Forest has been released following an accident in which four ponies were killed.

Bournemouth-based Alto Media has joined forces with the New Forest Roads Awareness group to highlight the risk of collisions involving free-roaming animals.

The two-minute video begins with stunning aerial footage of vehicles being driven along scenic Forest roads.

It also focuses on a recent spate of accidents that occurred on the B3078 Roger Penny Way - part of the Cadnam to Godshill route.

Three donkeys were killed by a van on December 12 and two donkeys died in a hit-and-run incident two weeks later.

The worst accident occurred on New Year's Eve, when four ponies were hit by a Land Rover Discovery.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the driver was obeying the 40mph speed limit and police are taking no action against him. But campaigners say other motorists often flout the restrictions.

The video includes footage of ponies standing in middle of the road at night, plus the Echo's coverage of the recent accidents.

It highlights attempts to persuade drivers to travel at 30mph, which adds just three minutes to the average journey time.

Matt Wilson, Alto Media's founder, said: "I'm lucky to have grown up in the Forest and, like everyone, was shocked to hear about the horrific spate of animal deaths in December.

"Knowing the power of video to convey a message, I wanted to help in some way to prevent this from happening again.

"I reached out to Gilly, who has made it her mission to reduce the number of animal road traffic collisions through education and awareness.

"With her invaluable input, my team and I produced the video, which now has 28,600 views on Facebook.

"Our hope is that by sharing the video we will reach enough people to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents happening again."

Gilly added: "We hope the video will make people think about how they drive across the Forest.

"There is ongoing work to reduce animal accidents. We ask people to drive with care as soon as they cross a cattle grid.

"No one ever sets out to have an accident, and being involved in one can be life-changing for a driver and passengers, let alone the animals."


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