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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.

Cuckoo Migration Tracking Sponsorship

Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF) are now part of the ground-breaking satellite-tracking project following Cuckoos on their migration from the UK to Africa and back again for a seventh year and proud sponsors of Thomas and Sylvester (sadly now presumed deceased) the Cuckoos.

As a sponsor, we have added a little note as to who named him and why on their individual blog pages at where you can also find recent updates and the live maps showing where they are right now.

We have lost over half our breeding Cuckoos in the last 25 years. In order to learn more about Cuckoos we have been tracking them with satellite-tags since 2011 and following their migration in real-time to learn more about where they winter and refuel on the way. The surviving birds have all now returned to the UK for the breeding season and we hope to tag further birds this summer. In just a few weeks or months' time, you'll be able to watch them make their migration to Africa in almost real time.

The project has added to our knowledge of Cuckoo migration immensely, with the discovery of two new migration routes, the wintering location in the heart of the Congo Rainforest and the apparently different success rates of these migration pathways. Data from Cuckoos tagged in previous years is now being gathered over sequential years and is helping us to gain fascinating insights from year to year, with regards to timings and the impact of environmental factors. What we have learnt so far will add to our understanding of the problems faced by this migrant species and the possible reasons for the declining populations within the UK.

Recently, the first scientific paper to come out of the Cuckoo-tracking Project was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications and you can read the full paper on the Nature Communications website You can find out even more by visiting