Salt licks are hoped to help reduce the number of collisions involving ponies and vehicles in the New Forest.

Licks have been placed off-road close to Roger Penny Way in the hope it will prevent equines and cattle from licking salt from gritted roads during the winter.

It is hoped that this trial will keep animals off and away from the road by providing a safer alternative in a more natural habitat.

The salt licks are 135 meters from the road in open-top containers, which will be removed when the weather improves.

Although the new salt licks may draw some animals away from the road, many will still be near to or on roads across the forest. The public are reminded that these animals have right of way on the roads.

“I would like to thank all the relevant organisations who have given us consent to trial the salt licks, hopefully it will make a difference to animal behaviour and accident numbers,” said Bill Howells, New Forest commoner and New Forest Commoners Defence Association (CDA) committee member, who instigated the initiative.

On Tuesday the CDA shared a photograph of the first pony enjoying an off-road salt lick.

“Whilst this is a promising sign New Forest, ponies are not domesticated and we expect it to take a little while for them to adapt their habits so remember to please still look out for them on the road,” said a CDA spokesman.

The CDA asks all drivers in the forest to drive according to the conditions, expect the unexpected and prepare to stop.

If a motorist has an accident involving cattle or an equine, they are required by law to report it to the police by ringing 999 as soon as possible.

Find out what’s inside the latest issue of Your Horse

Get the latest issue

Check out our latest subscription offer