Photographer calls on Natural England to clear up Wensum footpath
- Credit: ©Nigel Housden/Pinsharpstudios.com
A photographer has called for decisive action to be taken to repair a riverside footpath that has fallen into disrepair.
Nigel Housden, a photojournalist from Fakenham, wrote to Natural England requesting "immediate and effective direction" for repairs to the path by the River Wensum, in the market town.
He says there are unacceptably high water levels and fallen trees, which have made the public footpath inaccessible for the last three years.
Natural England said the River Wensum is currently being restored, in sections, with the Environment Agency led River Wensum Restoration Strategy. They are also working with stakeholders to clear fallen trees.
Mr Housden, who lives less than 500 metres from the path, said he was fed up with no action being taken.
“I have had enough and I hope something gets done quickly,” he said.
“All the land-owners are in agreement, someone who has power needs to take full responsibility to get it sorted out".
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“People talk about it, have meetings, but they do not get anything done quickly, there is no direct effective action.
He added that the River Wensum is one of only six chalk streams in the UK - a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation, under European conservation designation.
He wants to see the path restored for a number of reasons - the access and benefits provided by one of Fakenham's popular footpaths, to avoid future degrading of the SSSI natural conservation areas, also to stop further trees, whose roots have been constantly waterlogged, being uprooted in high winds.
He said the solution is using horses to remove fallen trees and movement of materials for footpath restoration and re-establish the former lower flow level.
A spokesperson from Natural England said: “The River Wensum is currently being restored, in sections, in accordance with the Environment Agency led River Wensum Restoration Strategy. The aim is to ensure natural processes, including flood plain connectivity, are maintained and enhanced.
"Natural England is working with stakeholders to review progress on the clearance of fallen trees. One third has already been cleared with the remainder planned for this summer.”