Ormesby Woods ban apathy

PREDICTIONS about local folk turning up at a parish council “on mass” over a woodland access issue failed to materialise leaving members feeling downbeat about their efforts.

Members of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council were disappointed by the no-show leading to some soul-searching about people being keen pick up the phone or e-mail but not bothering to engage with local issues on any other level.

Feelings about the woodland near to Scratby Hall Caravan Park were reportedly running high with some representation expected from people cross about suddenly being denied access.

Geoff Freeman, parish council chairman, said he had spent most of Friday on the telephone to the Woodland Trust in an effort to see what could be done to save the popular amenity for local folk.

Council inquiries had revealed the land - of which the woodland is only a small slice - was sold to an energy company 12 or 14 years ago when they wanted to put a pipeline through it to the new power station in Great Yarmouth.

Now it appeared the company wanted to sell the land and had put the fencing up to mark it out.

Although people were frustrated and annoyed about losing their freedom to roam the stretch Mr Freeman said someone had gone about expressing it the wrong way by cutting the fence.

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Also, having been up there to see for himself he was shocked about the amount of dog faeces peppering the woodland and the paths leading to it, spoiling it for other users and people with young children who like countryside walks.

“There’s no infringement of the footpath but you cannot go into the woods. People seem to think that it is common land. I have been up there and there are more cubic metres of dog muck than anything else, you cannot move for it. It was a jolly nice place for people to slip up there with their dogs and let them foul. Also somebody has been up there and cut the wires and its criminal damage.

“Last Friday I spent the day talking to the Woodland Trust. Whoever buys it wants the land not the woods, but with help from the Woodland Trust it could be a nice amenity. I was told there were going to be hordes of people here tonight, but there’s no-one.

“People have gone about it the wrong way by cutting the fence. We totally disapprove of criminal damage to private property. If they were blocking the footpath this parish council would be the first to get it sorted.”