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Thetford Forest open during coronavirus outbreak

PUBLISHED: 08:19 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:17 23 March 2020

Thetford Forest is staying open during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: John Styles

Thetford Forest is staying open during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: John Styles

Archant

Thetford Forest is staying open and allowing visitors in for free to access its green spaces and wellbeing benefits during the coronavirus social distancing advice.

Forestry England is ugring people not to visit Thetford Forest during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYForestry England is ugring people not to visit Thetford Forest during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Forestry England, which runs Thetford Forest, has said all its woods will remain open as it believes they are needed “more than ever” with “people benefiting from improved health and well-being while amongst the trees”.

A spokesman said: “As ever, the most important thing for Forestry England is the safety of our staff, volunteers and the public.

Following the government’s guidance on social distancing and social isolation, our woods and forests remain open for people to visit.

Our nation’s forests remain open for people to access green spaces and have the wellbeing benefits of fresh air and time outdoors.

Forestry England is ugring people not to visit Thetford Forest during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYForestry England is ugring people not to visit Thetford Forest during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We will keep monitoring the situation closely and follow the latest advice from Public Health England.”

Forestry England advises visitors to use the toilet facilities which are clearly signposted around the woods, following Public Health England’s guidelines of washing for hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. While out in the forest take a bottle of hand sanitiser as toilets may not be available.

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The food and drink outlets are kept to high food hygiene and cleaning standards. Guest are also invited to bring their own picnics.

The Thetford Forest sign at the Great Hockham woodland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Thetford Forest sign at the Great Hockham woodland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The announcement comes as the government shuts down all schools from Friday, March 20. All school visits to Thetford Forest have been postponed with parents made aware of the changes.

The spokesman added: “We always put the safety of our visitors first.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and will adapt our plans and programmes if Public Health England’s advice changes. We ask for your help by following the Public Health England’s and NHS recommendations. And if you are sick, postpone your visit until you are well.”

While the forest remains open the activities on offer at High Lodge have closed.

Thetford Forest offers a number of trails and bike riding opportunities through the woods on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. The land has played an important role in the county’s past with it being home to warrening and flint mines.

For more information go to www.forestryengland.uk.

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