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Meeting Will Discuss Gower Roadkill

Action call over number of animals killed on Fairwood Common

A road safety meeting is taking place in Gower after the latest in a series of collisions involving animals left several sheep dead.

Samantha Hughes, of Gower Commons Safety Action Group, claimed five sheep perished following the collision on the A4118 at Fairwood Common just over a fortnight ago.

She said the incident was reported to South Wales Police.

Mrs Hughes said she also saw a car collide with a foal, which died, on the North Gower Road in September.

“I had my four-year-old daughter in the car,” she said. “The foal was on three legs, and there was blood everywhere.

“It is very distressing for people to see these things.”

John Marson, of the Gower Commoners Association, said a van collided with a white horse at Fairwood Common last year, carrying the dying animal on its bonnet before coming to a stop.

“The problem is increased traffic,” he said. “The (animal) death toll is tremendous.”

Mr Marson said with cattle costing around £1,500 per head, sheep £100 and ponies anything from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, road kills were discouraging commoners from putting their stock out to graze.

There are 17 commons in Gower – Britain’s first area of outstanding natural beauty – which have been actively managed by commoners for centuries to produce an open heathland landscape.

But road kills, the changing economics of farming, and costs related to bovine tuberculosis have reduced grazing and in turn encouraged the spread of gorse, bracken and shrubs.

Mr Marson said a safety system was being trialled at a common near Waunarlwydd involving cows with collars, which bleep when the cows pass over an underground wire.

“It is very expensive,” he said.

He urged anyone in collision with an animal on Gower to report it to police, who in turn would notify a named commoner to arrange any clearing up at the scene.

Mrs Hughes, of Llanrhidian, said she would like to see increased police presence on Gower’s roads, more safety signs and regular mobile speed camera activity.

The speed limit on most of Gower’s roads is 40mph or 30mph, but there are some sections where the national speed limit applies.

Mrs Hughes said she hoped there would be a good turnout at the June 4 meeting at 8pm at The Gower Inn, Parkmill.

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: “The Gower neighbourhood policing team are aware of the concerns of residents in relation to speeding the area.

“They have been working with Swansea Council and Gower commoners to introduce measures to address these concerns including reducing speed limits on a variety of roads in the area.”

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