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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Priestlands Saving New Forest Ponies through Art

Following a spate of animal accidents, drivers are being urged by young people in the New Forest to drive carefully, in an Animal Accident Poster Competition, organised by the New Forest Trust and supported by other members of the Animal Accident Reduction Group. 187 pupils from Priestlands School, Ringwood School and Bournemouth Collegiate have designed posters, to highlight the need for drivers to take care on New Forest roads.

The New Forest Trust invited Year 7 and Year 8 pupils, from local secondary schools, to design eye catching posters, communicating a clear message for the drivers around the Forest roads to take special care. The fourteen winning posters are to be printed and displayed around various venues in the New Forest.

Diana Westerhoff, Natural England appointed Verderer, was one of the five poster judges, she said, “The committee judging the competition had some very difficult decisions to make, as there were many excellent ideas and we had a tough time trying to pick out winners. Clearly the children put a lot of effort into their designs and we all agreed that everyone deserved to be a winner. We appreciate all their efforts to make our roads safer for Forest stock.”

Nigel Matthews, Community and Visitor Services Manager, New Forest National Park Authority said, “ It is a good idea to use the ideas of young people to help reduce animal accidents. Animal accidents increase as the nights close in during October and November. Most animal accidents take place at night and motorists are urged to be especially careful on all unfenced roads. I hope these posters will remind drivers that they need to be ready to stop, when they see ponies and cattle beside, or on the road.”

Rick Manley, Chairman of The New Forest Trust, stated, “This competition has helped young people to engage with some of our work across the New Forest and we hope it has allowed them to explore, through their designs, ways of protecting our animals and our local environment. Well done to the winning designers and our thanks to all hotels and businesses, who have generously supported this competition.”

The fourteen winning entrants have received donated prizes by hotels which take part in the New Forest Trust Visitor Gift Scheme these include: Balmer Lawn, Careys Manor, Lime Wood, Montagu Arms, New Forest Hotels, Chewton Glen. Further prizes were donated by; Royal Oak, Fritham, White Buck Inn, Paultons Park, The New Forest District Council, The New Forest Wildlife Park, The New Forest National Park Authority, Beaulieu Motor Museum and Long Meadow Campsite.

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