They Do Not Read Newspapers

This article from the front page of the New Forest Post dated

This article, from the front page of the New Forest Post of two days ago describes an incident in Sway Road early in the morning. The foal, later euphemistically ‘put down’, was in collision with a Mercedes Sprinter. The driver was unhurt. A local resident is quoted as saying: “A foal was hit and dragged down the road under the van. All of us locals are getting pretty annoyed. There have been a few foal deaths – the road is being used as a bit of a rat-run.” My paragraph is for the benefit of those who cannot read the cutting. I still haven’t worked out how to facilitate enlargement in the new editing facility.

It is so infuriating that those precious animals will have no chance to live as long as these ponies enhancing the landscape at Bashley.

Despite having the right of way on forest roads 

Donkeys, like these at Ibsley and South Gorley;

and ponies at Ibsley, have no road sense and they do not read newspapers. Notice how much more difficult it is to see them in the half light of dusk or early morning.

It was at dusk that smoke from a recently stoked bonfire clouded autumnal treetops at the bottom of Frogham Hill.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendidly spicy pasta arrabbiata, served with very hot ratatouille, and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2015.

Unfortunately, whenever I try to see a preview of the post I receive an apologetic message telling me that something has gone wrong. I do hope readers will be able to access the galleries in the usual manner.

Now I’m going to settle down to a session of recorded international rugby.


  1. So very sad for these beautiful animals; their lives cut short by ignorant, impatient road users.
    (I can see your wonderful images, in the gallery, just fine)

  2. How awful! I wish drivers would be in less of a hurry in such areas and more aware of the wildlife and their safety. Your dinner sounds really delicious. Are the runner beans homegrown?

  3. 50 yeRs ago when we moved there this was an issue. Then there were no refl3ctive collars and no 40 mph speed limit and old fashioned brakes but fewer cars. There ought to be a standard penalty that applies on a strict liability basis. Thatโ€™s probably the only way to clear it

    1. If I can’t do better today I’ll revert to the old system until the new is imposed on us. I will have to post pictures individually, though, because I can no longer get to the gallery facility on that. Thanks very much, Merril

  4. This reads as a heartfelt plea for the lives of the animals who have the right of way. Unfortunately the ignorant and arrogant probably don’t read your blog. I hope the rugby went well and cheered you up!

  5. This brought tears to my eyes. ๐Ÿ™
    And it’s so sad that humans can’t slow down and adjust their lives a bit for these beautiful and precious animals who were living in many areas long before humans moved in and took over. ๐Ÿ™
    PS…your photos are large, beautiful, and easy to see/read. But when I click on a photo nothing happens. It doesn’t enlarge them or show them in gallery. ??? I”m sorry I don’t know how to help with that.

    1. Many thanks, Carolyn. I’m likely to revert to the older system if I can’t do better – although soon we will have no choice. Even then I will have to post the pictures individually because I can’t make galleries that way any more

  6. Thanks for still, despite the difficulties, managing to produce your excellent blogs on New Forest life (& death!). I’m very limited in my own efforts as I’ve already waited 2 weeks for BT to set me up with broadband and a telephone landline since moving house… and still over a week to go before they can visit me!

  7. It’s sad that people can’t slow down and pay attention to the roads. Here in the US crazy drivers are on the iPhones and texting while driving. I’m wondering if that’s a problem for you all as well. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, Derrick.

  8. I echo the sentiments re carelessness shown towards the animals :(-
    About the editing issue. Are you using the new version in WordPress? It popped up on my screen yesterday and I used it for about ten minutes before reverting to “classic” in frustration. That quick look left me with the impression WP are formatting everything in boxes (like text boxes in PowerPoint and Publisher), so it seems that nothing can be expanded outside of that box. Also when I clicked through to the story on the iPad, the photo box was intruding into the text. It reads fine if I just look at it as an email, or on the laptop.
    If these assumptions are correct, I wonder if WordPress are in the trial stage and would welcome this kind of feedback?

    1. Thanks very much, Gwen. It is on trial, but will eventually be imposed. See arlingwoman’s comments. I will have a go at feedback, and probably will return to the classic if I can’t do better

      1. I caught up with elmediat’s advice. I’ll try to remember that when I’m forced on to the new system. However, when they last updated (for the “quick post / write in top right hand corner), I realised that if I went into WP Admin / Posts I could still post in the previous way I was accustomed to, so even now I sometimes switch between the two. Hopefully there’ll be something similar this time, as I primarily post on the laptop using a keyboard. Surely the programmers won’t forget us dinosaurs in their rush to design for all things portable. (can you hear the irony in my voice?)

  9. This is too bad. It makes me think of how alert one has to be here, driving along roads where deer might jump out. And of course, to the animals, the road is a path, so walking in it seems sensible. I could read the newspaper article. I like that expression rat-run. The pictures look good to me, but I rarely enlarge them.

  10. Derrick, I do so enjoy your posts. As Iโ€™ve mentioned, Iโ€™m still amazed that the animals are free to roam. Do they return to a particular farm, or ranch? Or, do they just live in the fields and woods, pretty much wild, like deer do here? Sad about the foal. Believe it or not, there are some fledgling rugby leagues in our area.

  11. That is a touching post. However, Nature and Modernisation seem set on fundamentally opposite orbits. Out here railways criss-crossing the jungles frequently make mincemeat of wildlife, including vanishing species. I suspect we don’t even get to know about the carnage most of the times unless the media gets a whiff of the incidents, which brings us to the title of your post.

  12. Fascinating post. I made sure I had access to the old editing format, which still works so far. Checked out the newest format. If you select the image a sidebar on right appears for editing the image. You can set the link there so readers can see the enlarged media file in a separate tab window. Have not figured out gallery.
    These newer editing formats are designed for working on tablets & phablets touch screens, rather than a full computer screen (old School ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

  13. When I was in the New Forest I was shocked at how fast people drive across the roads. I didn’t personally drive when I was there but knowing how unpredictable horses are, I urged my companion who was driving to drive really slowly whenever we saw any animals. It particularly worried me when you had ponies on either side of the road as I though any moment now the herding instinct will kick in and they’ll dash out in front of us. I owned a New Forest pony and she had a complete disregard for traffic. Cars, lorries, whatever never phased her as she must have grown up with them thundering past her. Mind you, she detested sheep and if she saw a field of sheep, would turn round and bolt for home!

  14. No trouble viewing the photos. However, troubling news about the death of animals on the roads. I would have thought people in the district would be aware that these creatures have free range rights and would be cautious when driving. Dingbatish dolts.

  15. And here I was under the misapprehension that the English were a civilised race with empathy for animals and good manners generally, instead of a bunch of boorish louts.

  16. This is a tragic story. Not meaning to make light of it, it seems as though the Mercedes Sprinter was well named and the driver let that go to his or her head-as drivers so often do when behind the wheel of a speedy vehicle.

  17. In an area like your Derrick you would think Drivers would Know there were animals on the road and drive with due care and attention… Poor foal… I hope the driver has learnt a valuable lesson ..

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