Green Dragon Publishing

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We want to support the Verderers of the New forest

Many things make the New Forest special but at the top of our list is the way ponies, cattle and donkeys wander through the villages and along the roads. There are few places left where it is possible to see ponies living so close to their wild state.

Sadly the freedom that the animals enjoy also means that they encounter people and their cars every day of their lives. As long as drivers slow down and drive through the forest with extra care, there is no reason for this to be a problem. You can probably guess that this isn’t always the case. Often people are in a hurry, distracted by their busy lives or simply enjoying driving their cars at speed. A pony wanders out across the road at dusk or in the dark, there is a screech of brakes and a tragedy follows.

The Verderers of the New Forest oversee the welfare of the Mare with Reflective Collar and Her Foalponies, donkeys, cattle, sheep and pigs kept on the open forest. As you can imagine, they would like to stop these accidents happening as much as they possibly can. Reflective collars, which can be fitted to ponies’ and donkeys’ necks, are one way of trying to make sure they are easier to see.

The Commoners who own the animals are helping to preserve an ancient tradition by letting them out to graze and browse in the forest but they earn very little from doing this. So the Verderers decided to supply the reflective collars free of charge. Ponies are good at losing them though and they often need to be replaced. Money sometimes runs a bit short!

Of course, the best thing of all would be for everyone who drives through the New Forest to slow down and take special care. But the least we can do is to make it as easy as possible to spot the ponies when they wander onto roads. So we feel that providing collars is important.

By buying a copy of Charcoal and the Christmas Foal, you have made a donation to help the Verderers continue to supply reflective collars and support them in their efforts to reduce the number of road accidents involving the ponies of the New Forest. Thank you!

Mel Newman and Jo Mooring Aldridge

To find out more about the Verderers of the New Forest visit their website