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Verderers call for tighter controls at Forest events after claiming DJ disturbed ponies

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TIGHTER controls on New Forest events have been called for by the verderers amid claims loud music from a PA system panicked ponies.

Describing a DJ "whooping it up" during a trail race event held at Roundhill campsite on 11th December, the verderers suggested Forestry England take tighter control of events it permits.

The issue was raised during the December meeting of the Verderers' Court in which members compared it to the difficulties they said the traditional point-to-point race had faced in gaining permission.

Roundhill campsite hosted Maverick Race in December
Roundhill campsite hosted Maverick Race in December

Claims were also made that the Maverick Race damaged grazing and agitated the ponies, and the verderers agreed to provide witness accounts to the Deputy Surveyor Craig Harrison.

A spokesperson for Forestry England said monitoring staff had visited the event and told organisers to switch off music, noting that a later event in January had fully complied with conditions.

She added: “This specific event, involving the local sporting community, was given permission in line with this process. Limited use of a PA system was permitted, as is the case with other events.

"This helps the event to comply with health and safety requirements including ensuring all participants can be communicated with during the event and safety information shared.

"The site was inspected following the events to confirm that limited damage was incurred and environmentally sensitive areas avoided.”

Organisers of the Maverick Race would tell the A&T only that Forestry England had been satisfied with its conduct.

Forestry England said it receives more than 3,000 requests to hold activities in the New Forest each year which all go through a "strict process", approved by Natural England, to consider any likely impact.

It added: "As a result only a limited number of these applications are approved each year.”

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