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Letter: Animal visibility in the New Forest must improve

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SIR – I see a growing number of communications about the deaths of Forest animals appearing in your letters column.

Once again they concentrate on pointing out the well-worn record about speed and awareness. Only one person, so far as I can see, has come up with an alternative to ear tagging and reflective collars: fluorescent hooves.

Speeding is by and large a police matter, most involve the use of cameras of one type or another, and the effectiveness of some is questionable, as is the rate of enforcement.

There are always those who will speed, regardless of circumstances, but it does not mean that they are always the ones that are involved in these accidents.

Awareness is just as important if not more so. Here is a little tip for drivers to give them some idea of their level of simple awareness, or lack of it: tailgating.

Take a marker, any marker, say a roadside sign, for instance. As the car in front passes that marker, you say to yourself: “Only a fool ignores the two-second rule.”

If you pass that same marker in less time than it takes you to say that to yourself, you are following too close. So drop back and repeat the words until you can complete the sentence before you pass the marker. Repeat as required. It applies to all speeds.

To those who shun the idea of increasing the visibility of animals, ask yourself this: why do workmen everywhere wear high-vis jackets? Why do sensible cyclists not only wear (sometimes) high-vis apparel, but have a flashing rear facing red light (some even have a white front light, but sadly they are rare)?

Answer: they all want to be seen. So why are Forest animal owners reluctant to use methods of increasing the visibility of their charges? After all, it should be their duty of care.

John Walsh,

Address supplied

(Photo: Russell Sach)

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