Animal 'carnage' warning over fencing along busy main roads
HAMPSHIRE County Council is being urged to upgrade fences to stop New Forest animals wandering onto busy main roads and causing "carnage".
Concerns have been raised for several months at meetings of the verderers that the existing post-and-wire barriers are not strong enough, and some repairs by highway teams have not been to the proper standard.
According to latest minutes of their November meeting, the issue is being taken up with the authority by Cllr Edward Heron – who as well as being a verderer is also on HCC's ruling cabinet, and a member of the national park authority.
The promised action followed a presentment to the verderers by Tony Vanderhoek, from the Commoners' Defence Association committee, who focussed on fences beside the A337, A35 and A326.
He said: "The default stock fencing standard adopted by HCC is very poor and I urge the verderers make it clear to HCC to improve the standard of fencing.
"No one wants to see breaches by commoners' animals onto these busy, fast roads and the people / animal carnage that could ensue, so good fencing is imperative."
He said the correct standard of stock fencing was of the wooden post-and-rail type, complete with wire stock-netting.
Mr Vanderhoek praised HCC for using it to replace the dilapidated barrier opposite Cadnam cricket ground on the A337, which he said was "excellent news".
But he added: "Unfortunately, in other areas replacement fencing I have recently viewed and been made award of is still just wooden post-and-wire, which is not of a good enough standard to be efective stock-proofing."
He urged HCC to continue to conduct regular checks of the fences to ensure they were up to the job.
The verderers noted that post-and-rail fencing was “considerably more expensive” than the post-and-wire alternative.