Dog walkers and councillors are scratching their heads as to how five trees have been mysteriously removed from a West Norfolk beauty spot.
Fresh tree stumps have been discovered around the common close to Snettisham beach over the last few weeks.
Illegal loggers have felled a variety of trees from the spot, including a large oak tree.
The site is owned by Snettisham Parish Council, who have reported the incident to the police.
Parish council chairman Eric Langford said he was “flabbergasted” by the theft.
He said: “I cannot believe anyone would be so callous as to take those trees.
“The oak tree’s stump had a girth of 18inch so it would have been a large tree and of a good age.”
Mr Langford said the council may now have to get new warning signs which highlight that bylaws prohibit fires and felling of trees on the common.
The oak tree was discovered missing after twigs and other debris were covering a path on November 22 while councillors were visiting the site with Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
Further fresh stumps were later discovered and a chain saw is believed to have been used.
Mr Langford said: “We are concerned that someone is illegally cutting down trees on the common.”
The council is working with the wildlife trust on conservation projects on the common.
A recent survey has found that the common is home to some rare flora and fauna.
The council is also hoping to attract sand martins back to nesting in caves on the common.
Mr Langford said: “We have joined up with Norfolk Wildlife Trust to put together a plan for the common which has been neglected for many years.
“We are looking to bring the heather banks back to life.”
The parish council has held a crunch meeting with Norfolk County Council over signs installed by beach property owners in 2010.
The parish council is calling for the signs to be removed while the association says the notices were created with guidance from the county council.
The matter will be discussed by the county’s environment, transport and development panel.
Mr Langford said: “We managed to get our point across.”