Road safety campaigners release heartbreaking picture of orphan foal

  • Heartbreaking pictures of a newly orphaned foal trying to feed from its dead mother are being used in a campaign to slow drivers in the New Forest.

    Jean Smith of the South Weirs Actions Group on Safety (SWAGS) took the picture of the youngster after the hit-and-run accident near her home at 9.45pm on 12 July.

    “Somebody hit the mare, broke her back and drove on. An agister (an agent of the New Forest Verderers) had to come and put her down,” said Jean.

    “Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. The stretch of road between Brockenhurst and Burley has seen 40 accidents in the past five years.”

    The foal has since been rehomed and a driver is helping police with their enquiries.

    SWAGS was set up in March after an accident where a pony was hit and went through the windscreen of a the car.

    Members want the speed limit reduced from 40mph to 30mph and signs put up, warning drivers to watch out for foals on the roads.

    A spokesman for the Verderers said: “Drivers need to remember that the Forest animals do not have any road sense. They become used to traffic passing by and they have no idea the vehicles may badly injure or kill them.

    “The animals feed alongside the road and may move onto the carriageway without warning. At this time of year with the foals getting older and more playful and brave, even more care than normal is needed.”

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