Tuesday, 23 September 2008
There was anger earlier this year, when plans to abandon sea walls protecting th Upper Thurne and its broads were leaked to the media.
Thousands signed petitions, while concerned residents eventually won miniterial assurance the coastline would be saved for at least another 50 years.
Now the Environment Agency has revealed plans to ship in roacks by barge to bolster defences.
Click here for more.
Monday, 18 August 2008
That was the question today after the new head of the Environment Agency warned stretches of our coastline are doomed and plans will soon need to be drawn up to evacuate people from threatened areas.
In his first interview since taking office, in today's Independent, Lord Smith of Finsbury warned Britain faced some hard choices over which areas of our coast to defend and which to surrender to the sea.
The stark warning comes just weeks after flooding minister Phil Woolas promised sea defences protecting historically-important pike fisheries in Norfolk's River Thurne and its broads would be maintained.
Six villages, more than 1,000 homes and thousands of acres of farmland would be wiped off the map, if proposals from Natural England to allow the sea to breach defences got the go-ahead.
Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham Broads would be lost forever as the system became saline.
Ministerial assurance - click here.
Today's Independent Interview - click here.
More than 2,000 people signed an online petition on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website, before Phil Woolas pledged to maintain defences. If you haven't signed up already, click here to make your voice heard.
Monday, 7 July 2008
Anger erupted in March when proposals to allow the Upper Thurne and its broads to be flooded by the North Sea became public.
They emerged in a leaked report from Government conservation quango Natural England, which said sea defences protecting Horsey Mere, Hickling Broad, the Martham broads and Heigham Sound should be abandoned.
Whole villages would be lost under the plan, while thousands of acres of farmland would be turned into salt marsh.
But as he toured the area today, Mr Woolas said the so-called Option Four, which officials said would send out the right message to the public about the affects of climate change, was "as likely as Oldham Athletic winning the European Cup".
Mr Woolas said Natural England had been asked to provide different "scenarios" outlining different responses to rising sea levels.
He told BBC radio Norfolk: " I have asked the Environment Agency to provide reports on what can be done for a 50 to 100 year period because it is no-one's intention to allow this area to flood.
"Of course we value this beautiful area. This is people's livelihoods as well. This is where they have lived with their families for many, many generations and the government's duty is to protect it and that is what we are going to do."
Two-thousand people have signed an online petition on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website. Thousands have also signed petitions launched by parish councils in some of the villages threatened by the proposals.
North-East Norfolk Coastal Parishes Group, said Mr Woolas's announcement was "extraordinarily good news". The group is now calling for clarification over whether sea defences will be maintained for longer than the 50 years the Environment Agency believes it can sustain them.
The Upper Thurne is protected by a narrow strip of sand and shingle beaches between Eccles and Winterton. Mr Woolas said £100m would be committed over the next 50 years to help maintain them.
Three record pike, each over 40lbs, were landed from the Thurne system, inspiring generations of pike anglers to visit Norfolk.
Pike fishing remains an important revenue earner for the county, along with bird watching and other forms of water-based tourism.
To sign the PAC's online petition, click here.
For more on today's visit, click here.
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Natural England is behind proposals to abandon coastal defences between Eccles and Wintertion, on the Norfok coast.
If adopted by central government, the move would mean the looss of Horsey Mere, Hickling Broad, the Martham broads and heigham Sound, along with hundreds of homes in six low-lying villages.
More than 1600 people have now signed a petition to save the Upper Thurne system.
Today Dr David Viner, Natural England's chief specialist on the impacts of climate changes, said difficult choices would need to ba made. In an interview with the Eastern Daily Press, he said the agency was right to initiate a debate over the future of flood defences.
The Environment Agency believes it can keep the North Sea at bay for at least another 50 years.
But the defences cost £1.5m a year to maintain and some officials believe allowing the area to flood would help send out "the right message" about the severity of climate change.
Other options, ranging from strengthening sea defences to doing nothing have also been proposed.
The plans became public after a draft report - not intended to be published until September - was leaked to newspapers threee weeks ago.
Today MPs led my Mid Norfolk's Keith Simpson were set to challenge the government to come clean over its plans, in a 90-minute debate.
To read the interview with Dr Viner, click here.
To sign the petition, click here.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
His post has already attracted some telling comments.
Click here to read it.
An online petition on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website now numbers more than 1300 signatures. Click here to join them.
The Broads Society has been extremely concerned to learn that three of the four options for dealing with coastal erosion being considered by Natural England would, if adopted, lead to 16,000 acres of land around the River Thurne becoming an embayment of the North Sea. It also has considerable reservations about the remaining option under discussion.
Instead, the Society is outlining a fifth option, calling for:
- the Government to provide the Environment Agency with the funding it needs to fulfil its commitment to continue feeding the beach in front of the sea wall between Eccles and Winterton, with sand and shingle
- the Environment Agency to commission a wide-ranging study into ways in which the sea wall there can be strengthened, or otherwise protected, thus ensuring that it remains in a sustainable condition for much longer than is deemed possible at the moment.
Martin George, a committee member of the Society, said: "The area that would be lost under three of the four proposals is an integral part of the Broads, a region that has been afforded the status of a national park, and the Society considers it completely unacceptable to allow part of it to become an open estuary. He continued: "If any of these three proposals were adopted, it would result in:
-The loss of several hundred residential properties.
-The destruction of Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere - a National Trust-owned broad - Heigham Sound and Martham North and South Broads.
-The loss of several thousand acres of farm land, at a time of the growing world-wide food shortages.
-The destruction of valuable and fragile plant and animal life, including: reed and saw-sedge fen, the habitat of the Bittern, Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier, Swallowtail butterfly no fewer than nine species of moth listed in the Red Data Books as being nationally rare, vulnerable or endangered.
The other option under consideration would involve the creation of a new line of sea defences to the rear of the existing seawall and sand dunes and would minimise the amount of land and property which would have to be surrendered to the sea, as well as safeguard Hickling Broad. This national nature reserve is the largest open water in the region and is much used for tourism and recreation.
But although this option has obvious socio-economic and ecological advantages, the Society has many reservations about it, not least the likelihood that it would prove to be both extremely costly, and intrusive visually in such an open landscape.
In this respect, the Society considers it unfortunate that in drawing up its report, Natural England seems to have made the assumption that it will not be practicable to continue to maintain the integrity of the existing line of defences between Eccles and Winterton.
The Society does not accept that this is necessarily the case.
Dr George added: "We believe that it could well prove less expensive to provide the sea wall which currently fronts this section of coast with additional protection against the scouring effects of the sea than to construct a completely new line of defences to the rear.
We believe that this issue needs to be subject to a full-scale investigation. Such a study should also include an examination of the role currently being played by the nine offshore reefs which were constructed in the vicinity of Sea Palling some 15 to 20 years ago.
We are aware of studies which have demonstrated that the sand spits ('tombolos') which have developed behind these reefs are now shutting off the supply of sediment to the coast to the south, and thus increasing the vulnerabilty of the sea wall between Eccles and Winterton to two of the known effects of Climate Change i.e. rising sea levels and an increase in the storminess of the North Sea."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Thurne Catchment, an integral part of the Broads, is currently protected by a sea wall which was constructed after the 1953 floods; the wall is backed by a line of sand dunes. The steel piles supporting the wall are founded in the clay underlying the beach. It is important that this clay remains covered by beach material (i.e. sand and shingle) since it is very soft, and subject to rapid erosion if exposed to wave and/or tidal action. If this was allowed to continue, the clay around the piles would be washed away, thus allowing sea water to get under the wall, and at the same time subjecting the latter to stresses which it is not designed to withstand. If this situation was allowed to continue, there is a real risk of the section of wall in question collapsing. In these circumstances, the dunes behind would be subject to rapid erosion, and ultimately washed away.
Beach material is always subject to some movement as a result of the effects of waves and tides, and in the section of coast between Happisburgh and Winterton, it would seem that its susceptibility to being washed away is being affected by a gradual steepening of the beach profile, an increase in the storminess of the North Sea, and a gradual rise in the level of the sea relative to that of the land. All three of these factors appear to be linked to the phenomenon of Climate Change.
To make good the losses of beach material fronting the sea wall, the Environment Agency has over the past ten years or so been using sand and gravel dredged from offshore to replace the missing material. However, the perceived wisdom at the moment is that this may not be practicable after about 2050 as a consequence of the continued steepening of the beach.
The Natural England seminar on Feb. 18:-
This seminar was convened by Natural England (NE) to consider how the ecology and landscape of the Broads might be affected by Climate Change, and what steps could be taken to mitigate the likely effects of this phenomenon. In addition to NE staff, those present included personnel from the Broads Authority, Environment Agency, the Broads Internal Drainage Board, Norfolk CC, the RSPB, and the Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts. A report setting out NE's preliminary views on the subject was pre-circulated to those participating at the seminar. This document was sub-divided into two sections, the first dealing with the main part of the Broads (i.e. the valleys of the Bure, Ant, Yare and Waveney) while the other dealt with the Thurne Catchment. This Press Notice and the Notes for Editors is solely concerned with the latter.
Rather surprisingly given the controversial nature of the report's contents, it was not marked confidential. In the circumstances, it was leaked by an unknown person or organisation to Eastern Counties Newspapers, who summarised it in an article published in the EDP on March the 28th. Since then there has been a public furore, the main controversy resulting from the fact that very few of the hundreds of people living in the Thurne Catchment, were aware of the options under consideration at the seminar. These were, in brief:-
Option 1. Do nothing. Let nature take its course. Accept that one or more sections of the sea wall between Eccles and Winterton wold be breached as a result of neglect, thus converting the entire Catchment into an embayment of the North Sea.
Option 2. Hold the line. Maintain the sea wall, but accept that increasing quantities of sea water would sooner or later find its way underneath it, and that it would, as a consequence, ultimately collapse. This option, too, would result in the entire catchment developing into an embayment of the sea. In addition, it should be noted that both options 1 and 2 would result in sea water finding its way into the main part of the Broads via the Rivers Thurne and Ant.
Option 3. Adapt the line. Re-align the coast over time by allowing inundation to occur in some places, and building one or more barriers/embankments to limit tidal incursion in others. In practice, this would mean creating a new sea wall, or earthen bank a few hundred metres to the rear of the existing dunes. It is impossible to predict exactly where such a line of defences would be created, nor whether it could be discontinuous, or built in the form of a more or less continuous line between Eccles and Winterton.
Option 4. Retreated defence. The entire Thurne Catchment, including Hickling and Martham Broads, and Horsey Mere, becomes a c.16,000 acre embayment of the sea. Before this was allowed to happen, dams would have to be built at Potter Heigham and between Catfield and Stalham to prevent sea water from the embayment finding its way into the rest of Broadland.
Finally, it is essential to bear in mind that no one has suggested that any of these options be adopted until it becomes apparent that the existing sea wall cannot be maintained any longer in the face of the effects of Climate Change.
The Broads Society:-
The Broads Society was founded in 1956, and is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of all aspects of Broadland - navigation, recreation and the environment. We were closely involved in the discussions leading up to the formation of the Broads Authority, the statutory body responsible for the management of the region, and as a voluntary body with a membership of some 1600, we have worked tirelessly over the years to safeguard the interests of those who visit the region, or live and work in it.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Government conservation group Natural England is behind proposals to abandon coastal defences and allow the North Sea to claim the Upper Thurne and its broads.
If adopted, the plan would spell the end for six coastal villages and internationally-important nature reserves like Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere.
In an interview with the Eastern Daily Press newspaper today General Sir Richard Dannatt, who is the head of the British Army, said: “I think it would be a tragedy if we allowed that area to be given up and inundated.
“I think to give up a great chunk of Norfolk to the sea without a fight is something I find quite counter-intuitive and quite difficult to do.
“I really think we should continue to invest in the sea defences around there, I think it would be a tragedy to lose a wonderful area of the county by allowing the sea in without a fight. After all, the Dutch manage to achieve this perfectly well so why can't we do this on our side of the North Sea.”
Click here to read the EDP interview in full.
Click here to sign the online petition to save them.
That was the plea from the 1600-strong Broads Society today, which said it was "extremely concerned" to learn of proposals being considered by government conservation advisers Natural England to abandon coastal defences and allow the Upper Thurne and its broads to flood.
It came as an online Save the Broads petition, on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website, clocked up more then 1200 signatures.
Click here to read more on the Broads Society's response.
Click here to read today's Great Yarmouth Mercury story on the latest.
Click here to sign the online petition.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
It says plans to abandon coastal defences and allow an eighth of the total area of the Norfolk broads to be flooded by the sea are "completely unacceptable".
It is calling for a new line of sea defences to be established to protect vital freshwater habitats, six villages and thousands of hectares of farmland.
Click here to read a BBC report.
Click here to read it.
It comes as an online Save the Broads petition on Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website tops 1100 signatures, including East Anglian Euro MP Tom Wise.
Click here to join them.
Monday, 14 April 2008
Click here to join them, as calls grow for a public debate over proposals so far discussed in secret which would see the loss on around an eighth of the entire area of the Broads.
Friday, 11 April 2008
It comes as the online petition to Save the Broads nears 1,000 signatures. Click here to sign it.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
More than 400 people attended a public meeting in Potter Heigham last night. MP Norman Lamb said it was essential that there was a full and public debate over the proposals.
Today an online petition to save the Broads on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website clocked up its 800th signature.
Natural England, the Environment Agency and Broads Authority met in secret last month to discuss the impact of climate change on the Broads. Documents leaked to the media showed proposals to abandon sea defences, allowing Horsey Mere, Hickling Broad, the Martham Broads and Hiehgam Sound to be flooded by the North Sea.
Click here for the full story. Click here to sign the petition to Save the Broads.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Natural England and the Broads Authority have discussed plans to abandon coastal defences and allow the Upper Thurne to be flooded by the sea.
The move would mean the end for Horsey Mere, Hickling Broad, Heigham Sound and the Martham broads - along with six coastal villages, internationally-important nature reserves and thousands of hectares of farmland.
Nearly 700 people have signed an online petition, on Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website, to save the Broads. Click here to join them.
Today Ian Monson, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for the environment, said the authority would press the case that the land is worth defending on social, economic and environmental grounds. Click here for more.
Friday, 4 April 2008
Thursday, 3 April 2008
Some of Britain's finest pike fisheries and internationally important nature reserves would also be lost if proposals to allow the sea to flood the Upper Thurne and its broads get the go-ahead.
Tonight the Coastal Concern Action group said: "In view of the confusion, fear and adverse effect on property caused by the recent proposals by Natural England which seek to allow the sea to take over some 25square miles of the upper Thurne region and the consequential loss of six villages CCAG has arranged a short series of public meetings in the affected area.
The meeting locations and times are as follows:
* Tuesday 8th April Hickling Community Hall at 7:30pm
* Wednesday 9th April Potter Heigham Village Hall at 7:30pm
* Tuesday 15th April Sea Palling Village Hall at 7:30pm
Norman Lamb MP will attend each of the meetings. CCAG's Malcolm Kerby has called these meetings to give the people a voice that their views may be carried to the very heart of Government."
Nearly 600 people have signed an online petition against the plans. Click here to join them.
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
But Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb said he was disappointed by its response to a parliamentary question.
The North Norfolk MP raised the issue during Prime Minister's Questions, which was taken by Commons Leader Harriet Harman.
He asked for assurances that defences protecting the Upper Thurne and its Broads would be maintained.
Last week, it emerged proposals to abandon defences had been discussed by Natural England, the Broads Authority and the Environment Agency.
If put into action, the plan would mean Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham broads would be flooded by the sea. Six villages and thousands of hectares of farmland would also be lost under the proposals.
But Ms Harman stopped short of giving any assurances. Instead, she said ministers were working to ensure "the right way forward".
Mr Lamb, who said he was disappointed at the response, is calling for Environment Minister Hilary Benn to visit Norfolk to see for himself the area which would be affected by the plan.
Nearly 600 people have signed a petition calling for defences to be maintained. Click here to join them.
Plans to abandon coastal defences were discussed at a secret meeting by Natural England, the Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council and the Envrionment Agency.
Horsey Mere, Hickling Broad, the Martham broads and Heigham sound would be lost - along with six coastal villages and thousands of hectares of farmland.
Click here to sign the petition against these plans.
Monday, 31 March 2008
The catastrophe could take up to a century to arrive - or it could be as little as a year, the Telegraph reports tonight.
The stark warning comes as the number of people signed up to an online Save The Broads petition on Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website nudges 500.
Click here to read the latest reports in full.
Click here to sign the petition.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
We're campaigning against proposals to abandon coastal defences on the Norfolk coast, which would allow the Upper Thurne system and its historically-important pike fisheries to be flooded by the sea.
Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham broads would be lost forever - along with six villages and thousands of acres of farmland.
Some interesting comments have been left on The Times newspaper's website, in response to a story detailing the plans today.
Pat Gowen, from the Norwich-based Marine Environmental Information Network, says: "Over the past 18 years the government has benefited by over £1.6 billion from the royalties and VAT provided from the 189 million tons of sand and shingle dredged from off the Great Yarmouth coastline alone.
"This is far more than enough to pay for the total protection of the entire UK coastline as well as providing compensation for those who have lost and are losing their properties and living because of the erosion resulting from this damaging commercial exploitive process.
"Over thirty per cent of the aggregate dredged off our coast has been exported to Holland, where such dredging is banned due to the erosion and fishing losses brought about were it so permitted.
"So why should the best part of Norfolk be abandoned ?"
Kevin Langley, from Ely, adds: "Well done the Pike Anglers club, 30 years of fighting for pike anglers and the fish they value, a club that cares about the environment."
To sign the petition, click here.
It goes on: "Whether that lesson will be learned by the thousands of people who could be affected, made homeless even, by a proposal to allow the North Sea to flood 6,500 hectares of Norfolk, remains to be seen."
Both the Mercury and EDP feature stunned reaction from villagers whose first inkling their homes could be lost as coastal defences are abandoned to the sea was when they read it in the papers.
Click here to read the Mercury report.
One organisation - the Pike Anglers Club - has launched an online petition against the proposals on Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website.
Click here to sign it, if you want to stand up and shout.
Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority met last month for talks on the future of the Upper Thurne and its broads.
They decided the sea should be allowed to breach coastal defences, flooding Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham broads.
As the story hit the national media, officials claimed the plan was just one of four options under consideration.
A report in the Lowestoft Journal newspaper, said to be quoting from a leaked copy of the plan, claimed:
"The first option listed is to do nothing to adapt to climate change: to fail to maintain coastal defences and inland flood embankments, allowing them to fall into disrepair and be breached by the River Thurne and the sea.
"The second is to hold the line, the current policy of the Environment Agency. This involves maintaining the sea defences and flood embankments in their current positions. Under this option, saline intrusion - something all farmers fear - would get worse as sea water passes under the coastal dunes.
"The third option is to adapt the line: allow the sea to flood some places while building barriers and embankments to protect other parts.
"The fourth and final option is the most radical of all, and is described as the “embayment of the Upper Thurne”. Once the sea has penetrated existing coastal defences between Horsey and Winterton, the area immediately behind would flood as far as two “retreated defences” - think of them as sea walls, or even dams - built at Potter Heigham and Stalham."
Nearly 300 people have signed an online petition set up by the Pike Anglers Club, which has campaigned to protect the pike and pike fishing for more than 30 years.
As well as fisheries which have produced some of the largest wild pike ever caught in the British Isles, including three fish over 40lbs, the proposals would see the loss of internationally-important nature reserves, six villages and thousands of homes.
A Natural England spokeswoman quoted on The Times' website said the government-backed conservation quango wanted to start a debate over the plans and the best way forward for the broads, as sea levels rise and our coastline becomes more costly to defend.
The Pike Anglers Club has given the public to have their say by offering them the chance to sign its online petition, on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website.
Last year, the 2,500-strong club helped villagers win a campaign to save Cambridgeshire's historic lodes.
Click here to sign the petition to save the Broads.
Click here for the Lowestoft Journal report.
Allowing parts of the Norfolk Broads to be flooded by the sea would send out "the right message" to the public about climate change, it was claimed last night.
Conservation groups have met in secret to discuss plans to abandon 15 miles of coastal defences which protect the Upper Thurne and its broads - along with six villages and thousands of homes.
Leaked details of the proposals - discussed in secret by Natural England, the Broads Authority and Environment Agency - have been revealed by The Times.
It quotes extracts of a paper it says was discussed at the meeting, which said: “The broads (Martham, Horsey, Heigham Sound and Hickling) would become inundated by the sea, fen vegetation would be lost. It is likely over time that a spit would develop behind which coastal and intertidal habitats would develop.
“The increasingly unsustainable nature of the Horsey to Winterton frontage beyond the next 20 to 50 years opens up the possibility of realigning the coast as described within this time frame. It can also be argued that by selecting a radical option now, the right message about the scale and severity of the impacts of climate change is delivered to the public.”In the same report Martin George, a member of the Broads Society, said up to an eighth of the broads would be lost if the planned retreat went ahead.
A report on options for maintaining sea defences in the face of climate change is due to be delivered to the government in September.
The Pike Anglers Club fears historic fisheries could be lost. It has launched a petition to save them. By last night hundreds had signed it. Click here to join them.
Click here to read The Times report.
The Pike Anglers Club welcomes Natural England's call for a debate over climate change and its likely impact on the Norfolk Broads.
It comes after it emerged a secret meeting between the government-backed conservation group, the Broads Authority and Environment Agency had agreed proposals to abandon coastal sea defences and allow the Upper Thurne and its broads, along with six villages, to be flooded by the sea.
Some of Britain's most historically-important pike fisheries are under threat from the plan, including Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Marthan broads.
The PAC has launched an online petition, calling for the government to make funding available for maintaining sea defences, which are under threat from cuts to the Envrionment Agency's flood defence budget.
It believes the Broads - which stand to lose up to an eighth of their total area under the plan - should be protected.
A Natural England spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph: Natural England apokeswoman said the "surrender" option was one of many and their report was intended to start a debate about facing up to climate change.
She said: "We have got to face up to the issue. We have got to have discussion. There are difficult decisions to be made and we have produced this report after lengthy research.
"It's one of a number of options for consideration and we're in the early stages of trying to decide what options to take."Six entire villages would be lost within a generation if the defences along a low-lying area of coastline at Winterton were abandoned to the North Sea.
To date, people living in Eccles, Sea Palling, Waxham, Horsey, Hickling and Potter Heigham have not been consulted over proposals which would sound the death knell for their communities.
Click here to sign the PAC's online petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
Click here to read it.
Communities affected by proposals to allow the Upper Thurne and its broads to be flooded were not consulted when Natural England, the Broads Authority and Environment Agency discussed the plan behind closed doors.
The scheme would mean the loss of six villages and thousands of homes. as well as come of the finest pike fisheries in Europe and internationally-important nature reserves.
John Welch, of the Eastern Daily Press, wrote: "At least six villages wiped off the map, hundreds of people turned out of their homes and some of the Broads' best freshwater lakes swamped by sea water.
"Thousands of acres of agricultural land turned into mudflats, the loss of bird species such as bitterns, cranes and marsh harriers and the extinction of traditional crafts such as reed cutting.
"Unthinkable? Perhaps, but if radical proposals currently under consideration for the future of the Broads ever see the light of day, by no means impossible."
Click here for more, to sign the PAC petition click here.
Twenty-five square miles of the Broads would be flooded by the sea, which would be allowed to breach coastal defences and flood inland as far as Potter Heigham and Stalham.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb today said the plans were devastating. He told the Eastern Daily Press: "What shocks me is that profound, devastating implications are being discussed without the communities affected being part of the decision at all."
Click here to read the full story - EDP Reports
The Pike Anglers Club has launched an online petition to Save The Broads. Click here to sign up.
Proposals to allow the Upper Thurne system to be flooded by the sea have been discussed by the Broads Authority, Natural England and the Evironment Agency.
If they are put into action, the 2,500-strong Pike Anglers Club fears Horsey Mere, Hickling Broad, the Martham Broads and Heigham Sound will be lost forever within a generation.
Whole villages and thousands of acres of farmland will also be flooded or turned into salt marsh.
PAC president Phil Wakeford said: "In 2007, we warned that historically important fisheries and nature reserves were at risk from proposals to cut sea defence budgets. Our worst fears have now been confirmed.
"While the Upper Thurne system is a unique fishery which has produced some of the biggest wild pike ever landed in the world, it also contains internationally-important nature reserves which are of key importance to over-wintering wildfowl.
"A number of villages will also be abandoned if this plan is given the go-ahead. We understand other options, including maintaining sea defences, were also tabled but rejected.
"We have today launched an online petition as the first stage of a campaign to save the Thurne and its broads. We call upon anyone who loves this unique environment to join us in the fight to save it."
Three record pike, each over 40lbs, were landed from the Thurne system, inspiring generations of pike anglers to visit Norfolk.
Pike fishing remains an important revenue earner for the county, along with bird watching.
The Pike Anglers Club has campaigned to protect the pike and pike fishing since it was formed in the Fens 30 years ago. Last year it helped villagers fight a successful campaign to save the Cambridgeshire Lodes.
The petition can be found on the Ten Downing Street website, click here to sign it. More information will be posted as we get it on the Save The Broads website. Click here to see it.