Work well underway on new trail at High Lodge in Thetford Forest which will open up the forest and its heritage
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Construction is well under way on an all-ability trail which will help visitors to one of the region’s beauty spots discover more about its heritage.
The 4.2km trail at High Lodge will flag up areas of historical interest along its route, which date back long before the forest was planted during the 1920s.
It will also enable those with push chairs and disabilities to venture deep among the Scots and Corsican pines where they have been unable to go before.
The trail takes in a range of habitats and numerous wildlife can be seen, including woodlark.
It is part of the Forestry Commission’s £750,000 two-year project called Trailing the Hidden Heritage of High Lodge (THHHL), which received a grant of £610,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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Owen Manson, who is trails ranger at High Lodge and a team member of THHHL, said: “It is a huge opportunity for the Forestry Commission to get people out in the forest. It will enable people with families and disabilities to go out in the forest. It opens the forest up to everyone.”
There are workshop opportunities for people to explore and research the history of the landscape, take part in archaeological surveys and investigations, and learn new heritage skills.
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This includes discovering burial mounds at High Lodge and learning more about what used to be at the site - including a Ministry of Labour Camp during the 1930s.
Audio listening posts will be set up along the trail at points of interest and leaflets and online information will be available detailing heritage which has been picked up and discovered during the workshops.
Two shelters with interpretation boards will be built, one detailing seasonal timber and forest management and the other on wildlife and habitat management.
The project will be complete by March 2019.
Project manager Anne Mason said: “It is enabling people to appreciate the beauty of the forest but also to see how it is managed for timber production, the wildlife and its history.
“Everyone who takes part in the workshops will be contributing to our knowledge of the landscape. The more you understand the more you want to protect the landscape.”
Information can be found on the Forestry Commission website.