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13 August 2013, 07:12
From today, thousands of New Forest ponies are being rounded up so they can be checked and marked.
The annual event is called 'Pony Drifts' and between now and November around forty of them will take place. The ponies are rounded up and checked over, some have their feet trimmed and are wormed. Many also have have reflective collars fitted too, this is to help keep them safe on the roads in the dark.
However, the public are being warned to stay away because the ponies are wild animals and can be dangerous. The drifts take place across the New Forest on various days and signs will be put up to let people know when it is happening near them.
Drifts for August are happening on the following dates:
Tuesday, 13th August - Withybeds
Friday, 16th August - Bratley
Sunday, 18th August - Durhill Wednesday 21st August - Broomy
Sunday 25th August - Beaulieu Aerodrome
There are over 4 thousand ponies living on the Forest but they have to be managed for the good of the Forest and their own welfare. Once they've been checked, some of the ponies will be sold but the rest will be released back out for another 12 months.