Friends of Thetford Forest Logo

The FoTF committee met virtually last week and focused on what we need to do to enable a safe return to volunteering. We've read the Forestry England guidance and also that produced by East District, but as an independent organisation, we are putting together our own risk assessments to mitigate the risks posed by Covid-19 and to safeguard you, our volunteers.
We are also updating the Volunteer Welfare Form. If you are intending to resume volunteering or would like to take part, we will require each one of you to complete and return this form, so that we have your current details.
The risk assessments and our safety guidelines will be shared with FE, as a matter of courtesy and because it is the forest land manager controlling permission. Once we have agreement, we can then email them to you, together with the welfare form.

We would very much like to begin volunteering again sometime in the autumn - with the walking trails' checking and the archaeological sites; monitoring, followed by a gradual return to safe-distancing groups for conservation tasks and at Lynford Arboretum. However this is dependent on FE's agreement and resources and the on-going Covid-19 situation.

Please be assured that we do not want anyone to return who does not think it is safe or appropriate for them to do so.

Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF) Projects

Visitors viewing the new Goshawk Trail screen constructed by FotF Voulnteers

Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF) has raised over £200,000 in grants and spent over 120,000 volunteer hours on projects to help improve Thetford Forest for wildlife and people.

Our projects include :

12 benches installed along the All-Ability Trails at High Lodge Forest Centre, St Helen's Picnic Site, Santon Downham and Lynford Arboretum with a £5,000 grant from Awards for All.

The 2002 restoration of the medieval warrener's lodge in Mildenhall Woods and the creation of a circular walk, complete with interpretation boards, with £50,000 in grants from English Heritage; the Heritage Lottery Fund and Forest Heath District Council.

Improvements to the Goshawk Trail at Mayday, near Brandon costing £3,000 made up of £2,000 from our Corporate Members (See Corporate Members' Page) and £1,000 from our membership subscriptions.

The mobility cycles purchased by FoTF

8 purpose-made bikes suitable for use by the disabled and sensory-impaired, available for hire from Bike Art at High Lodge Forest Centre, with £12,500 in grants from Awards for All and the Local Network Fund and £4,225 from FoTF funds. FoTF have also funded the purchase of a wheelchair for vistors to High Lodge as part of its aim to increase enjoyment of the forest for all visitors.

A shot of Mildenhall Warren Lodge following the restoration work funded by FoTF

The creation of a tree sculpture at High Lodge, sadly this sculpture had to be removed in 2013 as it had succumbed to the elements.

A new wildlife hide with access for all at High Lodge Forest Centre. FoTF has also given over £1,000 in donations to support the work of the Forest Rangers.

Providing the funding for the installation of 12 benches to be placed around the giant play sculptures at High Lodge Forest Centre.

The 2013 restoration of the medieval warrener's lodge roof in Mildenhall Woods with grants totalling £80,000 from English Heritage and the Forestry England to help conserve the Lodge.

The multi-year Trailing the Hidden Heritage of High Lodge project where information volunteers amassed contributed to the interpretation, dedicated website, and to the learning materials for the new trail in the forest to link and interpret its landscape history, wildlife and forest management.

Various improvements to the forest habitat by the volunteers of FoTF Lynford Arboretum and FoTF Conservation during their respective conservation events.