Warnings are being put out to drivers in the New Forest as ponies are being hit on the roads, according to latest figures.

In the first two weeks of January eight ponies were hit by cars, double the number for the same period last year, according to the Verderers, who look after the New Forest.

On 4 January a liver chestnut mare wearing a protective collar was killed on the C10 road at Vereley Hill at 8am.

A chestnut gelding was also put down on 6 January after being hit by a motorist on the Linwood Road in Appleslade.

Another pony was reported as being hit by a car on the Tuesday 5 January at 6.55am and two on the Friday 8 at 8.30am and 8.45am.

The chestnut mare hit at 8.45am was injured despite wearing a reflective collar, but the others were unharmed.

A brown yearling filly was put down after being injured at Ipers Bridge on Beaulieu Hilltop Heath on the 13 January at 7am.

There were two other ponies reported as being hit on Monday 11 at 6.25pm and Friday 15 at 7.40pm but they were not found.

“Winter in the dark is always a bad time for animal accidents when motorists are driving to and fro from work,” said Sue Westwood, clerk to the Verderers.

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Last year was a record low for accidents in the New Forest with 0.51% of the stock turned out killed on the roads.

This was the lowest ratio since records began in 1956.

The figures for 2015 from the Verderers show there were 127 accidents attended last year, compared to 140 in 2014.

Of these 79 occurred in darkness, 31 in daylight and 17 in twilight

There were 38 ponies killed in 2015, down from 43 in 2014. Thirty of the fatalities were not wearing collars.

The total number of animals killed and injured on the roads for the year from 1 January to 31 December 2015 was 76, compared to 91 the previous year. In addition to ponies, pigs, cattle, donkeys and sheep were involved in accidents.