Bonfire Night plea – remember the New Forest’s animals

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bonfire night new forest
The NPA is concerned about the impact of loud fireworks on animals

THINK of the New Forest’s animals when celebrating Bonfire Night, the national park authority has urged.

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While most organised firework displays have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus lockdown, there are fears it could encourage more people to celebrate at home.

Nigel Matthews, NPA head of recreation management and learning, said: “The livestock in the national park can be easily frightened by loud bangs and bright lights.

“It can cause them to injure themselves by running into fencing, or they can run across roads and be hit by passing traffic.”

Charlotte Lines, chair of the Commoners Defence Association, said: “This is the most worrying time of year for the commoning families that graze their animals on the New Forest.

“The New Forest we all love and value depends on the animals’ grazing which helps to maintain the spectacular landscape. Everyone can do their small part to support commoning.

“Noisy fireworks are always dangerous near livestock, and setting them off at random times with unknown impacts on the animals in the dark is a real worry.”

New Forest commoner Lyndsey Stride also reiterated a campaign to encourage motorists to be careful on the roads in November – the peak month for animal accidents on Forest roads.

“Please also take extra care when driving in the dark, add three minutes to your journey, drive slowly and make sure you arrive safely,” she said.

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