Speeding drivers threaten Dartmoor wildlife


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Motorists speeding across Dartmoor are a threat to the area's wildlife, say officials.

More than 80 ponies, sheep and cattle have been killed in traffic collisions in the national park in the last year, with often the only clue to what has happened being some shattered bodywork.

One driver was recently clocked driving at nearly 150mph on the national park's narrow and winding country lanes.

Carla McKechnie, a protection officer for the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society (DLPS), said the problem was at its worst along the B3212 Princetown to Dousland and Tavistock to Princetown Road.

Speaking to the Plymouth Herald, she said: "I go out many a time in the middle of the night to find a badly injured animal in the road and have to deal with it.

"It's not only upsetting but there are the costs involved and of course there's a real risk of injury to those in the speeding vehicles."

Farmer Laura Colwill told the Plymouth Herald of the problems she has suffered as a result of speeding drivers: "We've had several ponies killed before.

"The worst thing is no one lets you know, you just find them by the roadside like this. People haven't got the guts to admit what's happened.

"Sometimes they're left injured and wander off, which means we have to go and find them. Why can't people just slow down?"

Dartmoor National Park Authority has stated that it is working with police to crackdown on speeding drivers and rural boy racers.

It is currently using speed advisor signs that warn drivers of excess speed and also log speeds to identify problem areas.

Recreation officer Andrew Watson said: "Sadly the record is 148mph near the Warren house Inn. That's just stupid."