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.

Goshawk Trail

Goshawk Trail Opening (2006)

Friday May 12th 2006 saw a number of invited guests arrive at Mayday car park to celebrate the completion and reopening of the trail and a visit to the bird viewing screens FoTF had installed along the route.

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

The trail was opened by Nick Gibbons, recently retired Forestry England Conservation officer, who then led the invited guests on a guided walk around the new trail, stopping off at various places including the new screen, before returning to the start for well deserved picnic.

Please take the time to come and have a look - the walk is easy to follow, suitable for most people and there's lots to see on the way around, tangible evidence of how membership subscriptions help FoTF to improve facilities for everyone within Thetford Forest

Goshawk Trail Bird Hide Screens 2010

FoTF Conservation Group at Work at the Goshawk Trail constructing a second bird hide screen (March 2010)

During 2010 FoTF Conservation made repeat visits to the Goshawk Trail at MayDay during the construction of a second bird hide screen. Previously, the FoTF Conservation had errected a pre-constructed bird screen, following preparation of the location.

The second screen was not only errected by FoTF Conservation, but was also built from scratch by FoTF Conservation. As well as clesring the site, the group had to install the core supporting structure and interweave the material to constrcut the screen.

Goshawk Ponds

In 2013 FoTF Conservation once again made a return visit to the Goshawk Trail to undertake work on the existing ponds, and to also repair and clear the existing ponds.

Goshawk Trail Bird Hide Screen 2016

In 2016 FoTF Conservation once again returned to the Goshawk Trail to replace the now aging screen and replace it with a new screen.

Goshawk Trail 2019

FE & FoTF volunteers install one of the replacement waymarker posts

Following inspection by Forestry England and FoTF it was noted the Goshawk Trail has succumb to the elements and the marker posts and header board were showing signs of their age. As a result of this in late 2019 FoTF joined forced with Forestry England to undertake a program of work during late 2019 and 2020 to remedy the issues identified with planned work to include:

  • Replacement of the current Header board (funded by FoTF)
  • Replacement of markers posts across the full route (funded by FoTF)
  • Undertaking vegtation clearance (as part of FoTF Conservation events)