New 'atmospheric' High Lodge trail launched
PUBLISHED: 15:33 20 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:58 24 July 2019
Families can now explore the secrets of Thetford Forest's hidden past in a newly-opened trail.
The Hidden Heritage of High Lodge Trail was opened to the public on Friday, July 18 by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Fitzroy.
The walk has different routes of varying lengths designed to be accessible to all.
Glyn Bradbury, from the Forestry Commission, said: "It's all about connecting people with the heritage of the landscape that surrounds us.
"The main aim was to create an all ability trail through the forest which is 4.2km but it has two shortcut options for those who are less able.
"We want to tell the story of the landscape, the wildlife and the people who have shaped the forest."
The trail has a number of points where information can be found, including an interactive touch screen and listening posts.
A team of volunteers took part in research for the trail and recorded voice-overs for the audio posts.
Volunteer John Bowes suffered a stroke four years ago which left him unable to speak.
He says volunteering has helped him find his voice.
He said: "Working with the other volunteers I can speak more and focus on what I am saying.
"It's a really good group of people and we have become friends."
The volunteers took part in archeological digs and researched documents to discover more about the area. Local schools were also invited to take part in workshops on the site.
The area is famed for its history of warrening, the farming of rabbits, and flint mines dating back to medieval times.
The project was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which donated £700,000.
Suzie Spence, the from National Lottery Hertage Fund, said: "The fact it will make the forest accessible to not only more people but a wider range of people is fantastic.
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"I love it, it is great because of the shortcut route or you can carry on through. When you go through the different parts of the trail what is so wonderful you can see the landscape has changed, it's really atmospheric."
For more information go to www.forestryengland.uk/high-lodge.