Countryside parking area shut following complaints of anti-social behaviour near Shouldham beauty spot
Parking provision near a popular West Norfolk walking route has been suspended amid fears over anti-social behaviour and littering after increased use during lockdown.
Residents only signs have been installed at the Shouldham Sincks site, near the A134 in a move Forestry England officials say was made following talks with the landowner.
But a resident of a nearby village has questioned the move, which he thinks could lead to longer journeys.
The Snicks route takes walkers to the Shouldham Warren site, which Forestry England manages.
It has issued an open letter on social media, warning that its sites have seen an “unprecedented increase” in visitors because of the lockdown and urging people to stay local and report any unlawful activity to police.
The group says permission for parking at the Snicks site had been obtained from the landowner, Stow Estates, but was withdrawn following incidents of fly-tipping, loose dogs and other anti-social behaviour which had reached an “unacceptable” level.
A spokesman added: “Following an increase in complaints and limited resources a decision has been made to withdraw public vehicle access to the site and encourage access to the woods through Shouldham Warren.”
Neville Morley, who lives in nearby Wormegay, said he had noticed the signs being installed while on his daily walk in the area, which he has used for more than 30 years.
He said that, while there would normally be two or three vehicles there, there had been up to a dozen at any one time recently, adding: “Surely this is a good thing because it is a couple of miles from the nearest village and walking there would involve a main road.
“Going to Shouldham Warren as the sign suggests, would mean a round trip of 10 miles for me.”
But Forestry England said the increased use had increased its maintenance costs and there was “ample” capacity at the warren.