Anger over National Trust's decision to close free Felbrigg car park

The National Trust have restored the kitchen at Felbrigg Hall to show how it would look during a din

The National Trust says it has closed the car park in question because it is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and can no longer cope with demand  - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

A community has expressed its anger and disappointment after the National Trust closed a free car park on the edge of the Felbrigg Hall estate.

The NT says it has closed the car park, which is accessed via the B1436, because it is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and can no longer cope with demand, but walkers say the closure is inconsiderate and will affect those with limited mobility the most.

Rebecca Miller, 58, from Cromer said the NT's reasons for closing the park were not satisfactory.

She said: "Why shut a car park that the locals use? That's what's upsetting people, it's the local's car park, it's not one the tourists use."

Ms Miller, who regularly walks her dogs from the car park, said she "did not understand the logic" of closing the area and hoped after hearing the concerns of the community the NT would reconsider.

She said she feared the closure would affect those with limited mobility such as the elderly and young children the most, with the nearest alternative car park to access the area a twenty-minute walk away.

"I just think it's morally wrong at a time when they want people's support. They are not being considerate of their support network here. There are a lot of elderly people that use the car park," she added.

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Alastair Bradshaw, visitor operations and experience manager at Felbrigg Hall, said the trust remained "committed to providing access to Felbrigg Hall."

He said: "A few years ago, we completed a project to restore part of the Felbrigg Estate, back to the heathland it once was.

"Despite relocating the small car park, which sits within this area, it has become clear that it is no longer large enough to cope with demand. We’re not able to extend the car park as it’s within a designated SSSI and excess cars are beginning to damage the surrounding area when the car park becomes full.

"We have therefore made the difficult decision to close this small car park. We’re exploring our options and the hope is to re-naturalise this space."

Mr Bradshaw added that the estate's other car parks remained open.