Great Yarmouth green land clearing was inconsiderate, says wildlife charity

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

A member of the charity Marine and Wildlife Rescue has said more evaluations need to be taken before green areas are cleared. - Credit: James Weeds

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has defended criticisms for clearing a space which was claimed to be home to many wildlife species.

The "haven" for birds and wildlife along a former train track by Barnard Bridge was cleared by GYB Services on Tuesday, June 7. It had been called "insensitive" by a dogwalker.

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

The tall grass and the bushes were trimmed back on Barnard Bridge on Tuesday. - Credit: James Weeds

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has said appropriate checks were carried out before the area was cleared.

Following a previous article by this paper, Dan Goldsmith, from the charity Marine and Wildlife Rescue (MWR), has raised concerns about the council's decision to trim the area back, especially during nesting season.

He said: "It is disappointing to see that yet again the environment is a secondary consideration when it comes to land management.

"Those in control of community areas and open spaces should be setting a positive example. The area concerned has obviously had established vegetation for some time and the bird nesting season runs until effectively the autumn."

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said the land had been cleared following complaints from neighbours about the tall grass and litter. - Credit: James Weeds

On the day of the land clearing, dogwalker Karen Bowie noticed the area being cut back and raised concerns to workers about nearby nesting birds and deer.

Miss Bowie, 52, claimed workers said the deer would move and that there were no birds in the brambles.

"It's just a bit heart breaking," Miss Bowie said.

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"I assumed they were just taking the brambles out, but when I got back yesterday it has just been levelled."

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

Litter is said to have been a problem on the path by Barnard Bridge. - Credit: James Weeds

Mr Goldsmith explained that it was possible birds were nesting in the brambles in the area.

He added: "Although it was suggested that birds do not nest in brambles, they do as it provides a safe haven from predators for most garden birds.

"More robust evaluation needs to be undertaken when work like this is planned or carried out."

Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) has said "careful and appropriate checks" were carried out before the land had been cleared.

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

The north side of Barnard Bridge in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: James Weeds

A GYBC spokesperson said: “This work was carried out for the council by GYBS, who are well-experienced in this kind of work.

"They have assured us that they carried out appropriate and careful checks along the full area before any cutting back took place and again after the work had been completed.

"We are confident that all appropriate precautions were taken.”