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Plans for water sports hub given green light on town’s river

PUBLISHED: 05:27 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 19 October 2020

Reporter Emily Thomson joins Paul 'Chuck' Norris (centre) of Bush Adventures UK on the river in Thetford, as Bush Adventures aim to get people using the river more.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Reporter Emily Thomson joins Paul 'Chuck' Norris (centre) of Bush Adventures UK on the river in Thetford, as Bush Adventures aim to get people using the river more. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Paddleboarding, punting and canoeing will be officially introduced on a town’s river by Spring next year, after plans to build a jetty and boathouse were given the green light.

Millie enjoying paddle boarding with her owner, Paul 'Chuck' Norris, of Bush Adventures Uk, on the river in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMillie enjoying paddle boarding with her owner, Paul 'Chuck' Norris, of Bush Adventures Uk, on the river in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Keystone Trust have been granted permission by Breckland District Council for the build of a boathouse and jetty on the river in Thetford’s town centre.

The boathouse, funded by The Brecks Fen Edge and River Landscape Partnership Scheme, will be located in the garden of the Riversdale Centre, owned by the trust.

The water sports hub and jetty will be run by Bush Adventures, a community interest company, who hope to get the community out on the water, bring tourism to the town and improve overall mental health and wellbeing.

Bush Adventures director and founder, Paul Norris, aka Chuck, said it was “fantastic” news for Thetford.

Reporter Emily Thomson joins Paul 'Chuck' Norris, of Bush Adventures Uk, paddle boarding on the river in Thetford as Bush Adventures UK aim to get people using the river more. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYReporter Emily Thomson joins Paul 'Chuck' Norris, of Bush Adventures Uk, paddle boarding on the river in Thetford as Bush Adventures UK aim to get people using the river more. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I think the boathouse and jetty will put Thetford and its river back on the map as a destination for leisure and tourism,” he said.

“It’s an asset which has been forgotten, but this is a step in the right direction which will help to improve people’s live and the local economy.

“We want to provide excellent outdoor adventures to people who wouldn’t normally have access.

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“Around 30pc of people in Thetford don’t have a car, so that is ultimately why we have chosen the town as a venue to kick this project off.

“We also want to provide access for local schools and colleges and when we can, we want to approach residential homes to take elderly residents punting.”

MORE: Town to get paddleboarding, canoeing and punting

Part of the funding for the jetty has come from Thetford Town Councillor, Roy Brame, who also helped to purchase one of the two punts for the river.

He said: “This is going to be really good for Thetford.

(From left to right) Roz Barnett, deputy town clerk, Paul Norris aka Chuck from Bush Adventures, and Roy Brame, Thetford Town Councillor with the town's new punt before lockdown. Photo: Joe Cunnell(From left to right) Roz Barnett, deputy town clerk, Paul Norris aka Chuck from Bush Adventures, and Roy Brame, Thetford Town Councillor with the town's new punt before lockdown. Photo: Joe Cunnell

“Many years ago the river was the lifeblood of the town and we are now in a position with the boat house and the punts on the river, for it to be again.

“The next step is to work on river connectivity to Brandon and beyond that, which would be great for the people of Thetford and visitors.

“We are the gem of the British isle.”

Chuck added: “We will be 100pc up and running by Spring.”

MORE: Thetford v Cambridge in battle to be ‘punting capital of the world’


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