New trail will uncover history of High Lodge at Thetford Forest thanks to grant from Heritage Lottery Fund
Beneath the thousands of acres of trees at Thetford Forest lies a hidden history.
And to enable visitors to learn more about this heritage, a new 4.2km trail will be created at High Lodge.
People can explore how the landscape features of the area have been created - from the gunflint mining of the 18th century to the creation of the forest during the 1920s.
The trail is part of the Forestry Commission’s two-year project Trailing the Hidden Heritage of High Lodge, which has received a grant of £610,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The all-ability trail will include audio listening posts which will give information about the history of the site.
Two shelters will be constructed - one interpreting the wildlife of the forest and the other the management of the working forest, with the information changing with the seasons.
Tristram Hilborn, Forestry Commission forest management director, said: “We have got hundreds of thousands of people who visit this site and the heritage has been hidden for so long.
“The forest here is just the most recent part. This will be the first time we really understand what is here.”
As part of the project, a variety of workshops will start in September involving the whole community.
These will include how to make arrowheads, how to write an archeological report and discovering the gunflint mines - which helped arm the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
The official launch of the project, which will cost £750,000 and has also received funding from volunteer groups and businesses, took place at the High Lodge Open Day where there were activities relating to the heritage of the site and the workshops which will be available.
Joff Whitten, HLF committee member for the East of England, added: “The normal visitors of High Lodge might not necessarily think about the heritage. It is just trying to make it accessible and interesting.”
Construction on the trail will start in October for six months.
The formal opening of the trail will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Forestry Commission in 2019.
For more about the project or to register an interest visit High Lodge Heritage