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Forest Leader: Mrs Deborah Southgate

Thetford Forest

Visit Thetford Forest in Norfolk in the Autumn and you will find yourself walking on a blanket of colourful leaves, as the trees shed their summer coats and prepare to bare their branches for winter. These woodlands hold more than a few big surprises, with miles of walking, riding and cycling trails to enjoy and frequent events including husky racing in the winter which attract visitors year round.

Thetford Forest was created after the First World War to provide a strategic reserve of timber, since the country had lost so many oaks and other slow-growing trees as a consequence of the war's demands. It is managed by the Forestry Commission. The creation of the forest destroyed much of the typical Breckland environment of gorse and sandy ridges, ending the frequent sand blows (where the wind picked up sand and blew it across the land reducing visibility).

However, this environment was itself man-made, since the area had been denuded by flint-mining, the construction of rabbit warrens and other activities. Grimes Graves is located within the forest.


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