Ormesby fence vandals strike again

VANDALS who have struck again at a fence surrounding a woodland patch in Ormesby St Margaret have “sullied the reputation of our parish”, according to the council chairman.

Surveillance is being stepped up over the leafy area next to Scratby Hall Caravan Park after wires were pulled from the stakes for the second time, leaving hopes of keeping it open to the villagers double-dashed.

In recent weeks, anger has built up after a slice of woodland, which until recently was enjoyed by the public for walks, was fenced off by the owner.

And now, previous efforts by the parish council to put in a bid for the land have been blasted out of the water again after �1000 repairs made to the vandalised fencing on Monday were undone within less than half a day.

Geoff Freeman, chairman of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council, denounced those involved in the criminal damage.

“These people have not the bottle to come and debate the issue – they’re cowards and they’ve sullied the reputation of our parish,” he said.

“The parish council absolutely condemns this type of behaviour.

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“Personally, I am shocked and ashamed that we have people living in Ormesby who are prepared to commit this sort of criminal damage.

“I do believe that someone knows who the culprit is.

“They are really not interested in trying to assist the parish and the council as their action has now put all negotiations totally out of the question.”

Mr Freeman believes the land had been bought by an energy company just over a decade ago as part of the establishment of a gas pipeline in the area.

They are now looking to sell the patch.

Until recently it has been a popular leafy haven for dog walkers and those seeking a brief refuge in nature.

And following the erection of the fence, there was widespread desire to accumulate the land for the public if possible.

However, after the first spate of vandalism, it was agreed at a parish council meeting that no approach be made to Norfolk County Council about making the land public so as not to send out a message endorsing criminal damage.

And the second act of vandalism has acted as the final nail in the coffin for any small glimmer of hope it could be retained for such use.

“It’s been made clear to me through the agents by letter that it’s gone too far now – they’re not interested in talking to us now,” said Mr Freeman.