A PICTURESQUE village in the New Forest is left strewn with rubbish on collection days as ponies and donkeys are getting into bin bags left at the roadside.

Bransgore resident Kate White captured the unsightly scene pictured above on her way to work through Thorney Hill.

It has become a regular occurrence because New Forest residents do not have wheelie bins. Despite reporting the issue to the district council on several occasions, Kate says nothing is being done to sort the problem.

She is also concerned that the animals are ingesting dangerous plastics and poisonous foods while they rummage through the rubbish bags.

“It’s really sad and so surprising this carries on week after week. I travel to Holmsley for work, and regularly on a Monday I come across ponies and donkeys eating rubbish on School Road in Thorney Hill. I’m sure it happens in other areas too.

“I ride horses so I think this hits me more maybe, but even if I wasn’t a horse rider I still think this would bother me.

“I’ve notified the council about it three times already and they say they will pass it on to the refuse team. But it’s disappointing because the council doesn’t do anything about it.

“I don’t know why residents don’t have wheelie bins, and I don’t know if they have to clear all the rubbish up or if it’s the binmen who do it,” she added.

A New Forest District Council spokesperson said yesterday: “We are aware that this is sometimes an issue in this area. We are clearing the rubbish today and will be reminding residents here to keep their sacks inside their gates, as they live where there are free-roaming animals, and not to put rubbish out before 6pm the evening before collection.”

On its website, the council states: “If you are concerned that birds or animals will tear open bags, you can place the bags in a dustbin at the boundary of your property. Your collection team will take the sacks and replace the lids. Do not leave your rubbish in a wheelie bin for collection as it will not be taken. If you have a wheelie bin, please remove your rubbish sacks before collection.

“Your rubbish is your responsibility before it has been collected; if animals do split the bags then you are responsible for clearing it up.”