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 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.

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.

“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.”