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.

Lynford Arboretum

Volunteers take a guided tour of Lynford Arboretum

The OED defines Arboretum as "A place devoted to the cultivation and exhibition of rare trees: a botanical tree garden".

Following the Second World War, students from the Forestry England's training school based in Lynford Hall commenced planting species, primarily of interest to commercial forestry, but also other types of trees to see how they fair in Breckland conditions. The site chosen was part of the Victorian, and earlier, parkland which surrounds the Hall. Initially the Commission's arboretum was confined between Lynford road and the old water tower, this was extended south to the lake and in the early 1980's, east to the boundary of the military training area.

Lynford Arboretum

Planting continued until the 1990's, and then in 2006 the Commission asked Friends of Thetford Forest to undertake the basic care of the arboretum. As a response to this request, in February 2007, the FoTF Lynford Arboretum was formed. The group's purpose is to nurture and improve the shrub layer, plant young specimen trees and foster the tranquillity of the place. As with most things in life other things emerge; the whole area teams with wildlife and effort is now being directed to sustain and enhance this. Forestry England is also charged with assisting in the nation's efforts to counteract the affect of climate change. To this end it is looking to its arboreta for answers, though with trees this will take a lifetime or two. Lynford is the most easterly of the Commission's nine arboreta with the driest of conditions; it also has one of the least fertile soils, consequentially it is seen as ideal place to gauge the changes which may occur. Increasingly young trees are being sent to Lynford for planting out to assess their potential; these are being grown from seed collected from around the world, at the National Pinetum at Bedgebury in Kent.

FoTF Lynford Arboretum meets between 4 and 6 times a month on Wednesdays and Sundays and we invite FoTF members to assist in this project. If you are interested in becoming involved with this project, (gardening on a rather grand scale), please contact FoTF by email lynfordarboretum@fotf.org.uk.

Click here to load a Google Maps map showing the location of Lynford Arboretum

Friends of Thetford Forest values its volunteers and the Forestry England needs the help and support of Friends' members. For more details please email volunteering@fotf.org.uk