Plans for community wood in Rackheath

A tranquil new woodland could be established as a place for recreation and a haven for wildlife on overgrown land at Rackheath which has remained largely untouched for more than 60 years.

The land, which is on either side of Newman Road in Rackheath, is owned by Broadland District Council and the �50,000 project would be paid for by selling off four plots that fringe the site to be used for homes.

Further work on the plan was given the go-ahead by members of the council's cabinet, which could see two hectares of the wartime USAF air base transformed from a neglected wasteland into a managed woodland area for community use.

Andy Jarvis, pictured, the council's head of environmental services, said: 'It would be wonderful to think that this run-down and neglected area could be regenerated into community woodland, and add another green amenity to Broadland's portfolio of attractive open spaces.'

Members of Broadland's cabinet agreed to ask the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to carry out an ecology and reptile survey, and authorised a sweep for live ammunition given the site's wartime use.

Mr Jarvis' report said a number of the derelict buildings and bomb shelters from the site's USAF days still remain, along with a number of holes in the ground that would require further investigation using radar.

The long term plan would consider transferring the ownership of the area to the parish council, or other community body, if they are able to take this on.

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'It is not known precisely when the site could open, but wildlife survey could take six to eight months, followed by around two months of safety works.

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