A popular heritage railway is being forced out of the village that has been its home for 40 years.

The Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society (CVRPS) has announced 2015 will be its last year on the current site as the landowner has decided the railway no longer fits into his plans for the land.

The railway, which employed one staff member full time and another part time, had been operating with a five-year lease.

The society had hoped to buy the site, in Castle Hedingham, before it ran out on December 31 and was fundraising so it could afford to buy the land.

Despite this, the owner - an Australian businessman - has decided not to sell the land to the society.

Paul Lemon, chairman of the CVRPS, said: “We are extremely disappointed at this turn of events.

“I don’t understand why he has decided to do this."