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Prince's Trust young adults help raise awareness of Thetford conservation work

PUBLISHED: 12:03 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 16 March 2017

Members of the Prince's Trust Team Programme who are helping to raise awareness of the conservation work taking place at Barnham Cross Common. Here they are on the site taking part in a guided tour led by Neil Featherstone, from Future Environomics, and Paul Stancliffe of the British Trust for Ornithology. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Members of the Prince's Trust Team Programme who are helping to raise awareness of the conservation work taking place at Barnham Cross Common. Here they are on the site taking part in a guided tour led by Neil Featherstone, from Future Environomics, and Paul Stancliffe of the British Trust for Ornithology. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

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A team of nine young people are helping to raise awareness of a conservation project which is being undertaken in Thetford.

Members of the Prince's Trust Team Programme who are helping to raise awareness of the conservation work taking place at Barnham Cross Common. From left to right: Adam Smith; Tiffani Tyman; Jordan Dormer; Neil Featherstone, from Future Environomics; Alicia Mills-Dyke; Kirstin Stil,  and Nicole Margett. Another team member Beren Reid is not pictured. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceMembers of the Prince's Trust Team Programme who are helping to raise awareness of the conservation work taking place at Barnham Cross Common. From left to right: Adam Smith; Tiffani Tyman; Jordan Dormer; Neil Featherstone, from Future Environomics; Alicia Mills-Dyke; Kirstin Stil, and Nicole Margett. Another team member Beren Reid is not pictured. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

The young adults are members of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme - a 12-week programme for unemployed 16 to 25-year-olds to gain new skills and qualifications - and have been assisting the town council by informing the public about the work being carried out on Barnham Cross Common.

As part of the team’s programme, they have to complete a volunteer project.

They have designed information leaflets to inform residents of the work which is taking place at the site and the wildlife which can be found there.

Members of the team have taken part in litter picks, have organised walks at the site with the British Trust for Ornithology, and have held consultations with the public to get their views about the work, which they then presented to the council.

Thetford Town Council is undertaking a environmental project on Barnham Cross Common.Thetford Town Council is undertaking a environmental project on Barnham Cross Common.

Laura Bell, assistant team leader of youth development at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service which delivers the programme, said: “It develops their confidence with the experience of talking to members of the public. It has also helped them work better as a team.

“They raised more than £600 by bag packing at Tesco to pay for making the leaflets.”

She added: “I think they have enjoyed doing something which is different and they know it will have a lasting effect.”

Tree felling and the clearing of invasive scrub have been taking place at Barnham Cross Common.

Fencing has been put up and grazing animals, including cattle and sheep, will be introduced.

It is hoped once the grassland heath has been grazed, it should produce a varied grass and open patches suitable for many Brecks species.

Historically, the site was a habitat for 13 rare plants, such as the fingered speedwell and the critically endangered tower mustard. The town council, working with Natural England, hope these plants will begin to thrive once more.

Councillor Brenda Canham said: “It is great that the Princes Trust Team 143 are helping the council to raise awareness about why we are fencing the common and reintroducing grazing animals.”

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