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‘Be prepared to turn around if it’s busy’: advice as Thetford Forest works to reopen

PUBLISHED: 11:01 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:01 13 May 2020

Thetford Forest remains closed to the public Picture: Marc Betts

Thetford Forest remains closed to the public Picture: Marc Betts

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Thetford Forest is to remain closed after the lockdown restriction changes but work is under way to reopen it.

Thetford Forest remains closed to the public. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThetford Forest remains closed to the public. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

High Lodge was closed to the public on March 25 after Forestry England said the amount of visitors made it unsafe to keep it open.

A spokesman for Forestry England East said it would take time to return to normal but to check its website to see what was open.

They said: “It will take Forestry England East some time to open High Lodge as we un-furlough staff and get them back to work, restart systems, undertake site safe checks and have discussions with business partners and work with them to become operational again where it’s possible.

“We are working towards being open as soon as it is appropriate for us to do so. When we do open Forestry England will continue to promote social distancing in line with present advice to protect our staff and visitors.

Thetford Forest remains closed to the public. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThetford Forest remains closed to the public. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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“We will not open everywhere at once, so we are asking people to see what remains closed before travelling.”

READ MORE: Police called to group of 20 people partying in Thetford Forest

The main entrance to High Lodge is currently being re-surfaced and is closed.

Work is under way to reopen the forest and other sites around the country. This includes a host of precautionary measures with cleaning touchpoints and toilets, putting social distancing controls in place, checking paths are accessible, dismantling illegal mountain bike trails and looking out for any wildlife that may have taken the chance while it has been quiet to build a home in an unusual place.

The spokesman added: “Due to Government guidance on play areas, at this time we will not be reopening our play equipment and play areas.

“We are clear that from tomorrow people visiting the nation’s forests have the responsibility to follow the new guidance on “staying safe outside your home”. We are sure many people will be keen to get out and about, so to avoid crowds, please be aware you may need to be prepared to make the necessary decision to turn around if the car park looks busy, or is full, and come another time.”

To see what is open go to www.forestryengland.uk/carpark-closures.


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