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.

All Ability Trail Seating

One of the benches installed on the All Ability Trail at High Lodge by FoTF Volunteers

Thanks to a £5,000 grant from 'Awards for All' 12 benches were installed along the All-Ability Trails at High Lodge Forest Centre, St Helen's Picnic Site, Santon Downham and Lynford Arboretum by The Friends of Thetford Forest.

Woodpecker Playarea Seating

One of the benches installed at the Woodpecker playground area by FoTF Volunteers

On Monday 19th October 2012 the final bench of twelve was 'ceremoniously' put into place at the Woodpecker Play Sculpture at High Lodge Forest Centre. Both the Friends of Thetford Forest and Forestry England had many requests for seating around the six play sculptures so that adults had somewhere to sit whilst supervising their children.

FoTF agreed to undertake the project, and used money form membership subscriptions to provide the funding of just over £2,590. For the second time, FoTF worked with Street Forge Workshop in Thornham Magna which trains and gives work to those with disabilities.

Street Forge helped FoTF design the benches, and then made them. Several of those involved were at High Lodge to see the final bench installed by local contractors Dot and Gilly Sayer, who did a wonderful job putting in all twelve benches for FoTF.

FoTF would like to thank everyone involved in making this such a successful project. Next time you are at High Lodge, you will see - and perhaps use - these benches, tangible evidence of how membership subscriptions help FoTF to improve facilities for everyone within Thetford Forest.