Dog walker 'heartbroken' after Yarmouth green space cleared

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

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

A dog walker was left "heartbroken" after bushes and shrubs were removed from a green space in Great Yarmouth.

Every day for the past five years, Karen Bowie has walked her dog down the path by Barnard Bridge which used to be used as part of the Great Yarmouth and Stalham Light Railway.

On Tuesday, Miss Bowie, 52, noticed the area, which had become a "haven" for wildlife, had been cleared by a team from GYB Services.

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 the area was cleared following complaints from residents about long grass and litter in the area.

During the clearing, Miss Bowie said she told the landscapers deer were sleeping in the bushes and birds were nesting in the area. She said she was told the deer would run away and that birds wouldn't be nesting in the brambles.

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

Dog walker Karen Bowie said she understands why the area was cleared, but she feels it could have been done with more sensitivity. - Credit: James Weeds

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

“I was a bit upset that the workers seemed to disregard the birds and wildlife in the area.

Most Read

"It's just a bit heartbreaking."

Miss Bowie said the area had been "extremely wild" down the path before the clearing.

"I understand things like this have to happen, but they could have done it a bit more sensitively," she said.

"The wildlife has just been totally disregarded. Before, it was a haven down there.

"It's silent now."

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

Miss Bowie said the area had been regularly maintained before Covid. But recently, the grass had grown a considerable amount and litter and fly-tipping had become a visible issue in the area.

"It’s been cut back before as the grass does get too long and the brambles can be intrusive," she said. 

"But it's never been cut back to that extent.

"I just think - what with it being bird nesting season and the fact that people are being encouraged to re-wild their own gardens for the sake of the environment - the whole thing could have been done with a bit more sensitivity."

Barnard Bridge after the green space was cleared

Dog walker Karen Bowie said the area was a "haven" for wildlife, but is now silent. - Credit: James Weeds

A spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "The council instructed GYB Services to tidy the area between Salisbury Road and Barnard Avenue after receiving complaints of overgrown grass and litter.

"All established trees and bushes were left untouched and no birds nests or wildlife were knowingly disturbed."