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New Forest pony pounds

I am sure most of you have come across the pony pounds while walking in the New Forest. They are mostly known for being used on the drifts or "round ups" by driving the ponies into them, to be checked over or to be taken in and handled by their owners.

But what some of you may not realise, that these pounds get used at all times of the year by commoners to round up their animals. The commoning community support each other and when out checking their stock, they may come across a pony that is poor or injured or see a pony that they know the owner is trying to catch and will drive the pony into the pound, to be collected by the owner. Or they may be out on horseback herding a particular pony of their own, and leave it in the pound while they collect their trailer.

Quite often underpasses and bridges have gates at either end and can be used as pounds, too, like the one in the photo below at Pigbush. Catching a pony can often take riders, walkers and a truck with a trailer and busy commoners take time to help out eachother with a carefully thought out plan in hope of outwitting the pony, (that's even if it can be found in its usual haunt.)

So, I ask you to do your bit to help them. Please don't ever park in gateways, and if you see a gate open on a pound, please don't close it... if you see a gate closed on a pound, please don't open it. Just leave it exactly as you found it and absolutely never let a pony out of a pound thinking it has got stuck. There will be a commoner nearby. (If you are concerned, take a photo of the pony and contact the verderers office.)


Running stock on the forest isn't easy for the commoners but if they didn't bother we would not have the beautiful and thriving habitats we all enjoy as it is the grazing, and the roaming of their animals that create and manage the landscape. Just having a little bit of awareness that the animals are being managed all year round will help the commoners hugely.

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