New trail in Thetford Forest will help visitors explore its hidden heritage
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
It is one of our region's greatest outdoor assets, criss-crossed by a lattice of paths for walkers and cyclists.
And now, plans have been revealed for a new 5km trail which will run even deeper into Thetford Forest.
The new route would extend west from the main visitor centre at High Lodge, towards Brandon, and into an area of woodland not covered by existing paths.
It has been designed to link up various heritage sites, including burial mounds and medieval warren banks.
The Forestry Commission applied for up to £500,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project and has passed the initial stage of the funding process.
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The track would be suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters and would provide information about the history of the landscape – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Anne Mason, project manager, said the 12-month development phase would involve wildlife surveys and archeological investigations.
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'At the moment there is no information in the forest about the 10,000 years of history beneath the trees,' she said.
'This will provide a wonderful trail into the deep forest.
'When you're out in the forest, you appreciate that it is a working landscape.'
Owen Manson, Forestry Commission trails ranger, said the project would 'open the door to the unique heritage of the forest'.
To secure the funding, the Forestry Commission will have to submit a second stage application to the HLF in November this year.
During the development phase, members of the public have a chance to help shape the trail via an online survey. Go to englandconsult.forestry.gov.uk.