PONY owners in the New Forest have launched a Save Our Foals campaign in a bid to reduce the number of accidents.

Many of the foals born in late spring and early summer are killed by vehicles - partly because they have even less road sense than older ponies.

All the free-roaming animals in the Forest are owned by commoners - villagers with the right to let their stock graze the landscape.

Now the Commoners' Defence Association (CDA) is taking steps to reduce the annual spike in collisions.

Members have produced a poster which aims to persuade motorists to cut their speed as they drive across the district.

It follows the "Add3Minutes" campaign, launched in 2017, which highlights the small difference a slight reduction in speed makes to journey times.

CDA chairman Tony Hockley said: "Foals are even more unpredictable than older ponies.

"Once they get over the 'wobbly legs' stage they tend to start running around in circles near their mother, regardless of whether their lap includes a road.

"They do this particularly at dusk - around commuting time - which we know to be the peak time for animal accidents.

"We’re inviting people to download, print and share our Save Our Foals poster, which reminds drivers to take extra care as this year’s foals appear in the coming weeks.

"We're using the simple 'Add3Minutes' hashtag, highlighting the very small difference driving a little more slowly makes to a Forest journey."

Dr Hockley warned that cows and their calves were also at risk of being involved in accidents.

He said: "Cows are very protective of their young and will try to chase away anything that comes too close, whether it be a dog, a human or another cow.

"People need to keep a special eye out for animals either side of the road as they are likely to move very quickly."