A riverside woodland the size of about six football pitches has been given extra protection after a local backlash to a fishing club's project to build new platforms there.

The stretch of 'wet woodland' runs about 670m along the River Waveney to the south of Dunburgh, a small hamlet near Geldeston.

It is used by Bungay Cherry Tree Angling Club, which has recently gained permission to install 18 new wooden stages at the site from which members can cast their rods in the hope of catching big perch known to swim in the area.

Eastern Daily Press: A section of the River Waveney near to where the woodland is locatedA section of the River Waveney near to where the woodland is located (Image: Newsquest)

But the move prompted concern that it could lead to the ash, willow and alder trees that line the banks being cut down unnecessarily.

A tree protection order (TPO) was issued by the Broads Authority to reduce this threat but it led to an appeal by the fishing club and the landowner, who have argued it was unnecessary.

The Cherry Tree Angling Club opposed the move, arguing it was "strange" for the TPO to cover the whole stretch of woodland rather than just mature trees and worried it could hamper its plans to install the platforms.

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Eastern Daily Press: The platforms are close to the Geldeston LocksThe platforms are close to the Geldeston Locks (Image: Archant)

But locals supported the move and hoped it would help better protect the rare woodland, which is home to a range of threatened species.

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Members of the BA planning committee met recently to discuss the matter.

The landowner argued that since owning the site in 1963 it had not carried out any tree maintenance except to clear fallen trees and it was therefore unnecessary. 

Bill Dickson, chairman of the BA, highlighted that the TPO could be difficult to enforce due to the size of the site and that it could lead to lengthy processes to get permission to carry out work.

But officers said that while the woodland may not be at immediate risk, it would help protect it for the future and that the day-to-day management of the site can be left with the landowner.