Breaking New Ground

Reconnecting People with The Brecks

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day

A Place to Explore

The Brecks is a great place to escape to; the vast landscape has a sense of space and freedom, with plenty of unique features waiting to be discovered. Our projects aimed to improve access to the Brecks, both physical and digital, in a number of ways.

Click on the project titles below to find out more.

  1. Family Fun

    This project aimed to give ‘hard to reach’ families the opportunity to come together and enjoy outdoor space, celebrating all that the Brecks has to offer. The project was delivered by Brandon Country Park and Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury district councils. The park hosted three free events that were branded and promoted as ‘Forest Fest’. Read more »

  2. Enchanted Forest

    This project was initially intended to be a free two day event at a transformed Brandon Country Park, bringing to life its history, providing educational activities, and showcasing the work of BNG projects in a fun and interactive way. It was realised though that the capacity of Brandon Country Park to attract the numbers required was not large enough. In order to reach the most amount of people, the decision was made to split the event into two separate events. Read more »

  3. Sandlines: Writing The Brecks

    Get your literary juices flowing in these creative writing workshops, connecting people, landscapes and memories. Read more »

  4. Brecks Landscape Patterns

    A fantastic opportunity to connect with the Brecks through environment inspired art. Discover and interpret patterns in the landscape through artist led community workshops. Read more »

  5. Brecks Forest Way

    This project has created a multi-use route (walking, cycling and horse-riding) with short sections and circular paths connecting Thetford to Brandon along the Little Ouse valley as well as the surrounding Thetford Forest Park. It provides a free local resource for community activities, schools and others to engage with the environment and learn about their heritage as well as taking exercise and addressing health issues related to obesity and poor lifestyle. Despite significant issues relating to Habitat Regulation Assessment, Site of Special Scientific Interest consent and potential for negative impacts on the Special Area for Conservation, this project has significantly improved the accessibility and signage of the Little Ouse River Path and created a number of new circular routes and cycle trails that link Thetford and Brandon to each other and to the wider Right of Way network in both Norfolk and Suffolk. Read more »

  6. Fieldtrip to the Devil's Punchbowl © TD Holt-Wilson

    Brecks Earth Heritage Trail

    The Brecks Earth Heritage Trails introduces visitors, students and local people to the little known wealth of Earth Heritage features in the Brecks through a multi-faceted interpretation project. 18 publicly accessible sites of interest within the BNG project area were selected for their geology, landforms and links with early human settlement. Read more »

  7. Contact © Nick Ford

    Brecks Trail

    The focus of this project is the effective management of visitors to the Brecks. This project has created a long distance, multi-use trail, connecting the two country parks at West Stow and Brandon, as well as the two major forest plantations of Thetford Forest and King’s Forest. It will raise awareness of the Brecks as a distinct geographical area, and more effectively manage visitors away from more sensitive sites and open access areas where there may be ground nesting birds or rare species. Where the route passes through sensitive areas, negative impact is mitigated against by interpretation and information informing users of the need to minimise disturbance by staying to the route, avoiding certain areas during nesting season and keeping dogs on leads. This trail connects countryside sites, tourists attractions and tourism businesses at West Stow, Elveden and Brandon benefitting the local tourism economy (the value of a day visitor is estimated at (£18/person) Read more »

  8. Grimes Graves © English Heritage

    Brecks Heritage Trail

    This project set out to create a series of heritage trails across the Brecks, of differing lengths and with each trail designed specifically to highlight a particular theme or aspect of the area’s heritage. The trails identify over 40 sites for their historical importance, from the Neolithic flint mines at Grimes Graves, through Bronze Age barrows, medieval commercial rabbit warrens and the Brandon gunflint industry to the 18th century country estates and houses, 19th century gardens and the 20th century military use of the area and the establishment of Thetford Forest. They will also include sites selected for their outstanding landscape, wildlife and ecological interest. Read more »

  9. Digital Access to the Brecks

    This project, delivered by the Breaking New Ground team, provided the public facing gateway to the Landscape Partnership Scheme and the rich variety of engagement opportunities, access improvements, and information resulting from the other 36 projects. The Breaking New Ground website was created with support from Suffolk County Council providing a modern user interface and the power to hold a lot of information. Each project has it’s own page like this one, detailing what the project was about and what was going on currently. There were also news and events sections that were updated regularly, as well as strong integration with the primary social media channels of Facebook and Twitter. Social media was a huge asset to the LPS, being one of the main ways in which people kept up to date with the scheme and heard about upcoming events and opportunities for involvement. Originally the project was intending to produce a BNG smartphone application which would act as a hub, providing details about the scheme, events and promotional material. However, the website was mobile optimised, meaning BNG info was easily accessible on mobile platforms. A saturation of the app market and similar apps not receiving high numbers of downloads, it was decided that funds would be better reallocated to the digital interpretation of Thetford Warren Lodge which was envisaged as part of the app. Read more »

  10. Thetford Munzee Trail

    The Thetford Munzee Trail is a great way to explore this heritage-rich town. Have fun competing with your friends and family, answer our quiz questions while hunting and capturing each Munzee code – and discover places you never knew existed... plus, it’s absolutely free! Read more »