A NEW map highlighting the worst roads for animal accidents in the New Forest has been published.

It comes as organisations appeal for motorists to take more care on the rural carriageways.

The map shows 138 accidents across the forest in 2014, with more than a third of accidents taking place on just three roads - the B3078 from Cadnam to Godshill, B3054 from Hatchet Pond to Portmore and B3056 from Hatchet Pond to Lyndhurst.

And a cluster of accidents has also occurred on the road from Picket Post on the A31 to Burley Street, and by Bolton's Bench in Lyndhurst.

Bournemouth Echo:

Despite the number of accidents falling in 2014, from 181 in 2013, to 138 in 2014, organisations are warning against any complacency.

They are urging people who travel across the forest each day to be especially careful, as most incidents involve people who live in or close to the New Forest.

This is particularly important as many foals are born at this time of year.

The Commoners Defence Association has also developed a project to have 80 per cent of the time of a police officer and an infra-red speed camera to patrol day and night.

In March, 495 motorists were caught driving over the speed limit on unfenced roads where animals can wander into the road.

Sue Westwood, clerk to the Verderers, said: "New Forest ponies and cattle are free to roam the New Forest and it’s their grazing activity which shapes the iconic landscape.

"We hope this map will be a visual reminder to motorists to be aware of animals as they’re driving.

"Although accidents are spread across the forest and their distribution changes every year, there are particular roads which always seem to have a high number of accidents."

Nigel Matthews, head of recreation management and learning at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: "Local motorists should never assume that it won’t happen to them.

"One day that animal beside the road will step out at the last minute, so go slowly and give it a wide berth.

"The speed limit is 30 or 40mph for a reason. Animals are on the road day and night, and unfortunately have no fear of cars."