An area of marshland on the Norfolk Broads has been given extra protection amid fears people are clearing trees to reach the water to fish.

Crabbett's Marsh - a secluded area just off the River Bure in Horning - has been granted a Tree Protection Order by the Broads Authority as part of efforts to conserve the habitat.

It means anyone found to be clearing the woodland would be liable for prosecution which could result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Eastern Daily Press: Crabbett's Marsh is a rare wet woodlandCrabbett's Marsh is a rare wet woodland (Image: Newsquest)

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It follows reports of land owners cutting through sections of the woodland to gain access to the water, collecting logs and also creating space for driveways.

But the move has been met with a number of objections from property owners in the woodland site, who argued the order would be "in contravention" of the BA's responsibility to maintain navigation of the waterways, because the trees can block dykes through the marsh.

An objector also questioned whether the BA had the authority to serve a TPO, attacking the public body for being "unelected, unaccountable and policing themselves".

Speaking at a planning committee meeting, Richard Jeffries, who owns a property within Crabbett's Marsh, argued the order would cover an area within his garden, accusing the BA of "shoddy homework".

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Eastern Daily Press: An aerial view of Crabbett's Marsh, which has ben given a woodland tree protection orderAn aerial view of Crabbett's Marsh, which has ben given a woodland tree protection order (Image: Google)

However, members of the BA were eager to help protect the woodland.

They agreed that it contributed greatly to the amenity of the area and that it was an important ecosystem.

Tim Jickells, a former professor specialising in marine science, urged the BA to do "everything it can to preserve this fabulous place".

There were concerns that enforcement could be difficult as much of the woodland is not accessible to the public.

But the BA agreed to speak with property owners to raise awareness about the need to protect the woodland.