Animals across Hampshire have felt secondary effects of recents lockdowns throughout the year. Humans have adjusted their activity so dramatically and as a whole population that nature have felt a change too.
Speaking to WINOL, Hampshire Animal Rescue Team (HART) stated: “With more people at home during the first lockdown it meant we saw an increase in patients coming in because people disturbed them in the garden through cutting down trees, hedges and taking down old sheds etc. As a lot of people got to work in their gardens at the worst possible time of year to do it with all the baby birds hatching”.
Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre maintain an extensive database of nearly 8 million species and approximately 1.5 million of these are protected under European Legislation and the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
In 2018 and 2019, Commoner’s animals killed or injured by vehicles in the New Forest was around 90 however this year, these statistics and all animals accident deaths are expected to decrease this year with HART stating, “There was a decrease in road traffic accidents with wildlife during the first lockdown”.
There is a 40Mph speed limit in the New Forest area and laws in place to deter people from ‘hit and run’ accidents. The New Forest Trust have also released an advice guide on what to do should someone collide with an animal.
On their website The New Forest Trust say: “All the animals that you see grazing the forest have an absolute right to be there by law. It is your responsibility as a driver to accept that the animals have the ‘right of way’ at all times and you must respect this.