'Massive destruction': Fury over mass tree felling in village

Tree felling has been taking place in Salhouse this week. Pictured inset is county councillor Fran Whymark

Tree felling has been taking place in Salhouse this week. Pictured inset is county councillor Fran Whymark - Credit: Archant

Appalled villagers have voiced their sadness over the felling of trees this week at a popular beauty spot. 

Trees have been chopped down at the Salhouse Broad car park after the Broads Authority granted planning permission for local landowner Cator and Co to carry out the work.

The landowner has also submitted plans to expand the car park itself due to the increasing numbers of visitors to the area.

And neighbours raised concerns over tree fellers demolishing a "huge" area of the woodland, which is within a conservation area, on Monday and Tuesday this week. 

Salhouse Broad Car Park in November 

Salhouse Broad Car Park in November - Credit: George Thompson

Some pointed out buzzards had been nesting in the affected trees during the summer.

Villager Anna Jakob, who lives nearby, said: "The destruction is massive. No villager was notified about the felling. There were beating buzzards, deer and all sorts of wildlife living in that woodland." 

A spokeswoman for the Broads Authority said an arboriculture officer inspected a number of trees, including 17 poplars, that were leaning heavily and presenting safety issues.

She added: "The application was made to remove the dangerous trees and some have already been removed.

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"The felling took place in consultation with, and has the full support of, Salhouse Parish Council.

"As far as we are aware, it is the remaining trees that have been felled in accordance with the planning application."

Another application was approved to remove 15 alders including four in the centre of the car park.

Replacement planting will be undertaken to "promote the future biodiversity of the car park and immediate surroundings".

This includes 25 new trees and native hedgerow surrounding the new car park after consultation with the parish council.

Fran Whymark, district and county councillor for the area, said: "I totally understand the local concerns but it is about balance. Hopefully the buzzards will come back as there are other similar trees where they can nest.

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor - Credit: Archant

"Trees comes down for natural reasons anyway and could easily have fallen during the recent storms." 

The landowner intends to double the size of the car park, from 35 spaces to 72, to help stop visitors parking along the village verges.