WILDLIFE groups in Dorset are being asked to help identify sites for a new road sign being rolled out by the Department for Transport.

The new red triangle warning sign features a hedgehog and will be placed in areas where wildlife can be a known road hazard.

According to the Department of Transport, in 2017 629 people were injured in accidents involving an animal in the road (excluding horses) and four people were killed. Motorbikers can be particularly vulnerable, said the Department.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled a new traffic sign, featuring a hedgehog, which warns road users of hazards due to animals in the road.

He's calling on local authorities and animal welfare groups to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign should be located.

"We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at how we can make them safer," he said. "The new small mammal warning sign should help to reduce the number of people killed and injured, as well as helping our precious small wild mammal population to flourish."

The Department particularly hopes that hedgehogs will benefit as their population in rural areas has halved since 2000.

The small wildlife sign complements other warning signs already used on UK roads, filling a gap between warnings about smaller animals such as migratory toads and wildfowl, and large animals such as deer and livestock.

Accidents involving deer are sadly common in Dorset, especially in the Wareham forest area, where herds of deer can contain 50 animals.