BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

29 October 2014
HampshireHampshire

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Hampshire
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Hampshire

Dorset
Wiltshire

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

tiny
Thursday, 22ndt August, 2002 12:00 BST
Forest wildlife - ponies
tiny
New Forest ponies
New Forest Ponies near Brockenhurst
tiny Grazing cattle and ponies keep the grass short, keep the scrub under control and are vital to the appearance of the Forest. Without its wildlife the area would quickly return to a more overgrown state.
tiny
tiny
SEE ALSO
tiny
Cattle

Deer

Pigs
tiny
WEB LINKS
tiny
New Forest webguide
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
tiny
PRINT THIS PAGE
tiny
View a printable version of this page.
tiny
Get in contact
tiny
The Forest is famous for its wildlife, particularly ponies and cattle. Allthough they appear to be wild, in fact they are all owned by the 400 or so Commoners in the Forest.


About 3000 New Forest ponies wander freely across heaths, woodland, roads and often into villages. Most are of the New Forest breed, which is unique and has changed very little over the Forest's 900 year history.

Ponies wander across the roads.
Ponies wander freely
There are other breeds, such as Shetland Ponies, in smaller numbers. You may see these near Stoney Cross.

The ponies are owned by around 400 Commoners who have the right to allow their animals to graze on forest land.


The Forest Agisters keep watch on the condition of the ponies. The agisters are also responsible for dealing with any animals which are killed in road accidents. The introduction of a 40mph speed limit has reduced the number of accidents and many of the ponies wear reflective collars to make them more visible at night.

Although they appear tame and are accustomed to people and cars, the ponies are still effectively wild and may bite or kick, so it's sensible to take care and certainly to avoid standing behind them!

Pony looking over a fence
A New Forest pony watches over the carpark at Burley
Grazing is very important to the forest conservation and there are byelaws which make it an offence to feed a pony or any other forest animal.

Ponies tend to remember where they were fed and will come back expecting more food, rather than wandering off to graze.

If feeding were allowed to continue this could upset the balance of the Forest.

The horse fair.
A horse fair
Six times a year, surplus ponies are sold at the horse fair near Beaulieu. The event attracts large numbers, many hoping to buy a riding pony for their stable.

Animals are auctioned and sold either for riding or occasionally as meat.

European funding was given recently to a project launching a refurbished pony sales ring near Lyndhurst. It's hoped that the new facility will help to raise awareness of the breed and therefore increase prices.

In spite of the popularity of the traditional horse fairs, the market has suffered. Ponies have been known to sell for just a few pounds and it has been difficult for Commoners to actually make a living this way.


 
tiny
line
tiny
Top | Features Index | Home
tiny
tiny
tiny
Also in features
tiny

Also in New Forest
Tiny gif
New Forest history

Tiny gif
New Forest Show 2004
Tiny gif
Webguide
Tiny gif
Wildlife in the Forest
Tiny gif
E-cards
Tiny gif
New Forest quiz
Tiny gif
Forest Life art
Tiny gif
Forest witches

Tiny gif
Brusher Mills

Tiny gif
Commoners

Tiny gif
Forest folk

Tiny gif
Hunting debate

Tiny gif
Witch chat

tiny
What's on
tiny

Films
Latest Reviews

Film festival

Film Finder


Location South


tiny
Webcams
tiny
Contact Us
BBC Southampton Website
Broadcasting House,
Havelock Road,
Southampton
SO14 7PU
(+44) 023 80 374370/1/2
southampton@bbc.co.uk



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy