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Sheep killed on notorious New Forest stretch amid icy roads warning

Livestock can be attracted to the salt spread on roads (photo: Robert Sach/New Forest NPA)
Livestock can be attracted to the salt spread on roads (photo: Robert Sach/New Forest NPA)

TWO sheep have been killed on a notorious New Forest road as warnings have been issued about icy conditions locally in the imminent cold snap.

The animals were killed on Monday on Roger Penny Way – the B3078 Cadnam-to-Godshill road – the New Forest National Park Authority confirmed, two weeks after three donkeys were killed on the same stretch.

It comes as Hampshire County Council has urged drivers to take care in tricky road conditions, and residents to support the vulnerable during the cold.

The Met Office today (Wednesday) issued a yellow warning for ice across the New Forest and Christchurch, with rain and sudden drop in temperature leaving freezing surfaces. There was the threat of a little snow, it said, but rain was most likely.

Since Boxing Day, the HCC’s winter teams have spread more than 1,500 tonnes of salt across the county, going out five times in the north and central parts, and four times in the southern area.

Deputy HCC leader Cllr Rob Humby said: “We are doing all we can to keep the main roads clear for those who need to make essential journeys, and I would remind those who do need to travel at this time to please take care, check the weather forecast before setting out and drive according to the conditions at all times.”

Salt on the roads can also attract the New Forest’s roaming livestock, and drivers are warned to lower their speeds further and “add three minutes” to journey times.

In anticipation of the cold spell HCC has also referred residents to its Hitting the Cold Spots project offering support to those who are having trouble staying warm during the winter, including home visits, help to access funding for heating repairs and replacements and temporary heating.

Some of the services have eligibility criteria, but the phone advice line is open to all Hampshire residents on Freephone 0800 804 8601 Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm or email staywarm@environmentcentre.com

HCC stressed those at higher risk of suffering include, babies and very young children, older people, those with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart conditions, circulatory disease, asthma, COPD, depression, anxiety, diabetes or arthritis.

Cllr Judith Grajewski, cabinet member for public health, said: “Hampshire is expecting some cold weather over the next few days and so it’s really important we keep ourselves safe and warm – particularly so, for those who are vulnerable and heeding the government’s call to ‘stay at home’.

“There is plenty of information and advice available to help people to keep warm, and practical support, for those struggling to heat their homes. Please also look out – in a Covid-safe way – for any neighbours who may be shielding or unable to get out due to the weather.”

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