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Workshops and activities launched which will enable visitors to discover the hidden history of Thetford Forest

A Business of Ferrets pictured at High Lodge for the launch of Trailing the Hidden Heritage. Picture: Ian Burt

A Business of Ferrets pictured at High Lodge for the launch of Trailing the Hidden Heritage. Picture: Ian Burt

A range of workshops and activities will offer visitors to Thetford Forest a chance to learn about the area’s heritage.

The launch of Trailing the Hidden Heritage at High Lodge.  Picture: Ian Burt. Picture: Ian BurtThe launch of Trailing the Hidden Heritage at High Lodge. Picture: Ian Burt. Picture: Ian Burt

The events are part of the Forestry Commission’s two-year project called Trailing the Hidden Heritage of High Lodge.

Launched in July, a new 4.2km trail will be created to inform people about the hidden history which lies beneath UK’s largest man-made lowland forest.

MORE - New trail will uncover history of High Lodge at Thetford Forest thanks to grant from Heritage Lottery Fund

High Lodge at Thetford Forest. Picture: Sonya DuncanHigh Lodge at Thetford Forest. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The workshops will enable people to explore and research the history of the landscape, take part in archaeological surveys and investigations, carry out wildlife surveys, and help produce activities for schools and families and learn new heritage skills.

The construction of Thetford Forest. A catterpillar tractor connected to a mechanical scraper makes speedy work of excuvating the site of the reservoir which is to be constructed at Barrow Hill. September 1959. Picture: Archant libraryThe construction of Thetford Forest. A catterpillar tractor connected to a mechanical scraper makes speedy work of excuvating the site of the reservoir which is to be constructed at Barrow Hill. September 1959. Picture: Archant library

Project manager Anne Mason said many of the activities are suitable for families and students as well as adults.

She added: “We’re trying to ensure that the activities are available to everyone and that age or a health or physical limitation is not a barrier to taking part.”

The construction of Thetford Forest. Picture taken in February, 1959. Picture: Archant libraryThe construction of Thetford Forest. Picture taken in February, 1959. Picture: Archant library

The £750,000 project received a grant of £610,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the activities are free to attend.

Six workshops are planned until December. These are, help with accessing historic records on October 9, how to use the Norfolk and Suffolk Historic Environment Records on October 18, and how to interpret aerial photographs and LIDAR images on November 14.

Thetford Forest. Picture: Sonya DuncanThetford Forest. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The research skills will help on December 12 when the Forestry Commission will be searching for references to wildlife in old documents.

The 600-year-old warrening industry will be delved into at a workshop on November 19, which includes a visit to Mildenhall Warren Lodge, and on December 6 there is a practical course on how to care for archaeological earthwork sites.

MORE - How well do you know Thetford Forest? Here are 10 interesting facts

The activities will take place at the Oak Lodge Community Building at High Lodge.

The all-ability trail, which will include audio listening posts, which will give information about the history of the site, will be formally opened of to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Forestry Commission in 2019.

A list of activities for 2018 and 2019 is available to view but the dates are still to be finalised.

For more information about the activities available click here

To book a place email highlodgefeedback@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or call the Forestry Commission on 0300 067 4556.

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