Car park at Two Mile Bottom picnic site, close to Thetford, to remain open
The future of a picnic site which offers access to Thetford Forest has been temporarily secured.
Situated off the A134, close to Thetford, the Two Mile Bottom car park has suffered low usage during the day and anti-social behaviour during the evenings.
This has lead to high maintenance costs for the Forestry Commission, which manages the site.
A public consultation was launched in mid-December last year and closed at the end of January.
Due to the feedback received, the Forestry Commission has said at this time Two Mile Bottom will not be closed, but part of the car park will be gated to make it smaller.
The main online discussion page for the consultation received 212 hits and in total 14 people submitted ideas for the organisation to consider while 12 people commented.
One said: “Having public access to the Forestry Commission land is little use if people can’t actually get there to make use if it.
“Car parks like the one at Two Mile Bottom are essential to allow people to gain access to public FC land. The car park at Two Mile Bottom is one of the closest to Thetford, so provides and important facility for its residents.
“With the town set to expand significantly in the near future, it is important that amenities like this remain available.”
The site features a trail into the forest and an open area next to the car park which gives opportunities for those wishing to have a picnic.
A trail camera was installed at the site to count the number of car visits during the seven-week consultation period. Just under 200 car visited.
The Forestry Commission said: “Visitor numbers will be monitored at Two Mile Bottom and other car parks. Should circumstances change it may be possible to allow access back into the old car park area.”
The organisation, which manages 14 sites across the forest, said it approached the police about monitoring the Two Mile Bottom car park but were told due to resources it could not be monitored regularly. The police do stop and check the site when they can.
A number of organisations and interest groups were contacted during the consultation. They can apply to the Forestry Commission for a permit so they could use the old car parking area.
Work to the site will begin at the end of next month.
For more information visit the Forestry Commission website.