Forest

Thetford Forest is the largest manmade lowland forest and largest pine forest in Britain, covering almost 19,000 hectares.  Most of the timber goes for construction and joinery material but some finds its way into woodwool, pulpwood, transmission poles, fencing and pallets.  Most of the forest is Corsican pine, although Scots pine does also feature.  The normal rotational felling and replanting creates a varied forest age structure, therefore encouraging a wide range of habitats for plants, insects, birds and other animals.  This does mean that familiar forests can disappear quickly, almost over night, creating vast empty spaces, but in time these are planted with new seedlings which will mature into another forest.  Having said that, there are areas protected due to their conservation value, which include sites for Crossbill, Goshawk, Woodlarks and Nightjar, plus plants such as the Military Orchid.  Golden Pheasants prefer the young conifers that have been established for 11 to 25 years.

Thetford Forest has now become a major tourist attraction for those cycling, walking, bird spotting, orienteering, etc.  The High Lodge facility, just outside Brandon on the B1107, offers opportunities for all these activities including trails for walking and cycling, plus many on site such as the ‘Go-Ape’ high rope walks, Segway and in the summer months concerts by top artists.

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