Illegal rave caused £1,000 worth of damage to Thetford Forest
PUBLISHED: 15:36 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:08 23 August 2018
Around 1,000 people attended an illegal rave in Thetford Forest are believed to have lit fires, caused damage to a breeding area and vandalised barriers, signage and cycle trails.
The rave at the weekend is believed to have caused more than £1,000 worth of damage when it was held off the B1106, Elveden to Brandon Road, as forestry workers have been cleaning-up and repairing the environmental damage.
Richard Brooke, planning and environment manager for the Forestry Commission, said: “There are three elements that have been affected by the rave.
“It’s the nuisance and disturbance that it caused to neighbours and people surrounding the event at night.
“Then after the event there were a lot of cars in the forest illegally and they were trying to find their way home. During the Sunday the forest was full of litter which was a problem for dog walkers and the cars driving around trying to find a way out meeting people and animals who were not expecting to see them.
“There has been a cost both environmentally and financially. Environmentally there are birds in the area, the site is not very far from a badger sett and there are rare plants on the site which have been damaged.”
Mr Brooke has been with the Forestry Commission for more than 20 years. He says that rave events like this are common.
He added: “Every year we have a few of these unlicensed events and have to deal with the damage they cause but we try to work with police to stop this.”
A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “At 12.05am on Sunday, August 19, police officers out on patrol on the A1065 at Thetford Forest discovered an unlicensed music event taking place.
“Several hundred people were estimated to be in attendance, but due to its distance from any residential areas it was not causing a disturbance.
“Officers stayed in the area for a couple of hours to monitor activity and returned later on in the morning as the event began to disperse and remained in place to oversee this process.
“The local policing team are aware of the subsequent issues this caused for the Forestry Commission and will be liaising with them to try to prevent future occurrences.”
Members of the public have reacted to the damage with a mix of opinions.
One man posted on Facebook: “Can’t believe how irresponsible people can be. Then giving verbal when confronted with their illegal actions.”
Another said: “So inconsiderate but not surprising, no respect for anyone or anything make a mess and walk away for someone else to clear it up.”
Other residents have blamed the rave on the fact young people do not have anywhere to go.
One said: “Perhaps if young people had somewhere to go they wouldn’t be partying in a forest.”
Another added: “The best way is to work with young people and provide them with a safe place to go.
“What harm have they really done other than a bit of litter picking?”
But Mr Brooke says that there was more damaged caused than just litter.
He added: “With work we have done today we can see the damage it has caused.”