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Sudbury: ‘Tacky’ warning signs taken down by Common Lands rangers

PUBLISHED: 08:45 18 June 2014

Ranger Adrian Walters with one of the signs.

Ranger Adrian Walters with one of the signs.

A disagreement about “tacky and inappropriate” warning signs recently installed at a west Suffolk beauty spot has taken a new twist.

The Environment Agency erected the offending signage next to a stream on Sudbury Common Lands to warn visitors of ‘strong currents and fast-flowing water’ on occasions when the flood gates are opened further upstream.

But common lands trustees, including ranger Adrian Walters, believe the signs spoil one of the area’s most iconic views and are unnecessary.

Mr Walters has removed the signs temporarily and has invited the agency to discuss more suitable options.

He said: “It would have been nice if the Common Lands Trust as landowner had been informed that the signs were going to be put up.

“Our remit is to ensure that this wonderful open reserve – which has county wildlife site and local nature reserve status – should not be cluttered up by unnecessary signage and that is why we keep all of our signs to the margins and entrance.

“You can see when there is water on the meadows so I can’t see why anyone needs information about that. We have managed perfectly well for in excess of 100 years without any incidents at that point, so that’s why we feel the signs are totally unnecessary.

“We have taken them down and hope the Environment Agency will enter into a dialogue with us in a bid to resolve the issue favourably.”

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “We are more than happy to meet with the ranger to discuss his concerns over the safety signs.

“We are keen to hear his views on how we can still keep people safe while not spoiling local views, but we do have a duty to make people aware of fast flowing waters, even if they don’t happen very often.”

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