Meeting to resolve walk row

A PUBLIC meeting is to be held next week to try to solve a row over work to fence in a popular country and riverside walk.Campaigners and conservationists will be putting their views over the controversial project to protect flocks of roosting birds from dogs off leads at the meeting at Levington Village Hall.

A PUBLIC meeting is to be held next week to try to solve a row over work to fence in a popular country and riverside walk.

Campaigners and conservationists will be putting their views over the controversial project to protect flocks of roosting birds from dogs off leads at the meeting at Levington Village Hall.

Members of the Keep Levington Beautiful Campaign will put their points, while Simon Hooton, manager of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit, which put up the fencing, will explain why it was needed.

Parish councillors and other interested groups are also expected to take part in the meeting, which takes place at 7.30pm on Monday and will be chaired by Amberfield School head teacher Helen Kay.

Campaigner June Langford said: “We are expecting a very good turn-out at the meeting because there has been a huge interest in this issue from villagers and walkers and we want some answers.

“If the fencing had been put up by the landowner, we would not have had a leg to stand on, but this has been done using public money on private land and we do not believe it was necessary.

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“It has also spoiled a lovely walk, the riverside part of which may not now exist in a few years.”

The work had fenced in a public right of way to prevent walkers and dogs leaving the footpath and taking a short-cut across a meadow, which provides night time roosting for skylarks, owls and birds of prey, is important for over-wintering species such as snipe and jack snipe, and in summer scarce birds such as redshank and lapwing.

It is understood the meadow is owned by retired solicitor Steven Rackham.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust field officer Mick Wright said: “These days nearly everyone who walks this route has dogs which are off their leads and running free.

“On their outward walk dogs are running across the meadows and chasing the deer.”

He had also seen several thousands golden plover, lapwing and brent geese being disturbed.

What do you feel about the fences? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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