THE forest has been basking in the summer sunshine for more than two weeks.

And some reports say the warm weather is here to stay... for a few more days anyway.

Last week temperatures soared above those in Rome, Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro. And it’s not just people trying to keep cool in the heat – spare a thought for the animals, including these Percheron horses that needed to cool off in a Ringwood stream.

Farmer Robert Sampson, 58, still uses the heavy horses to work his 265 acres of land in Harbridge, but a few buckets of water helped ensure they don’t overheat.

His beasts of burden may not be as fast as a tractor, but Mr Sampson believes they do a reliable – and often better – job.

But in hot weather, they need to keep cool.