Fierce fence row erupts

WALKERS today claimed a beautiful area of countryside is being destroyed by ugly fencing work carried out by guardians of the county's heaths and coast.

WALKERS today claimed a beautiful area of countryside is being destroyed by ugly fencing work carried out by guardians of the county's heaths and coast.

Protesting Levington residents say the fencing is destroying an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Hundreds of posts and steel wire have been placed around meadows and pathways on the Ipswich side of Levington Creek on the banks of the River Orwell.

Campaigners say the paths have been narrowed and seriously damaged by tractors and equipment to create what they say is “a total eyesore”.


You may also want to watch:


A campaign spokesman said: “We want this fence taken down and for all work to be suspended immediately.

“The pathways have been seriously compromised by tractors to erect what we consider to be unwelcome fencing.

Most Read

“In some places the ground is sloping and does not meet the needs of elderly, those with young children and people with mobility problems. With the ongoing erosion of the cliff the pathways, along with the breathtaking views, are likely to disappear altogether.”

But the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit said it has had to take the action because of the threat to roosting birds.

Communications officer Malcolm Farrow said researchers found birds are declining at a faster rate on the Stour and Orwell than at any other site on the east coast.

One reason was recreational disturbance from walkers, especially with roaming dogs.

He said: “Levington is a popular area for walkers with dogs and there is constant disturbance during the day because people have been abusing the path and crossing the field.

“Basically, we felt we had to take some action as a last resort. Fencing is not something we wanted to do because we realise the impact in an undeveloped landscape but we felt we had to do it to protect the birds.”

The field provides night time roosting for skylarks to owls and birds of prey, and in winter one of only a few places in Suffolk for all species of owls.

It is important for over-wintering species such as snipe and jack snipe and many birds use the associated and adjoining habitats, and in summer scarce birds such as redshank and lapwing.

Do you think the fences should stay? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter