BNG JUN16 NEWSLETTER
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Breaking News Newsletter for Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Scheme
A Platform for Wildlife
Friends of Thetford Station applied for funds to improve understanding of the history and architecture of the old flint station building and create a new wildlife friendly green space for the station.
Raising awareness of the heritage value of the station building is a key part of the project. Built in 1845, the station is important as an example of local flint architecture. An additional grant from the Breckland Society will go towards providing an interpretation panel explaining the history and significance of the building.
The green areas next to the platforms will become wildlife-friendly zones, providing sources of food and shelter for insects and birds (the station is already home to a significant population of house sparrows, as well as tits and finch). The Friends plan several birdboxes and feeders as well as insect habitats in the form of "bug hotels" and log piles, mixed native hedging and wildlfower planting.
This is a project with St Marys West Stow Parish Council to repair three flint walls within the church yard. Volunteers of all ages will get together to clear up the church grounds and prepare the walls for restoration, and then work with a local flint expert to restore the walls.
Made from the Sands
This project aims to get people out exploring the built heritage of the Brecks who might not otherwise be able to. Project leader James Williamson will lead tours of some of the fascinating historic buildings in the Brecks from his specially equipped 4x4,
The vehicle can take up to 5 passengers and hell be working with local charities and organisations to offer tours to those who might not otherwise be able to get out and about due to mobility issues or special educational needs. Do get in touch if your organisation is keen to get involved!
Thetford Warren Lodge English Heritage
The school also has some old flint walls in need of restoration, so this project will provide training opportunities for pupils and local young people to learn how to repair them.
The schools maintenance staff will also be trained, so that the walls can be maintained into the future.
A newsflash for project partners and participants with news items, project updates,
special features and forthcoming events.
New Peoples Pot Projects! Were excited to be able to announce four new small grants scheme projects which are just getting underway.
B4: NBIS Little Ouse Wildlife Recording Festival
18th26th June 2016: Along the River Ouse between Redgrave and Lopham Fen and Brandon Bridge The Little Ouse Wildlife Recording Festival focuses on recording the wildlife, both native and non-native, that lives along the river from Redgrave and Lopham Fen (the source of the river) through Thetford and on to Brandon Bridge. We need your help! and have designed lots of great free activities to ensure that there is something suitable for all ages and levels of recording ability so everyone can get involved. How can you get involved? See the full programme and how to book.
Take the Little Ouse Recording Challenge Who will record the most species during the week? Can you record 100 species and help us reach an overall total of 500 species Download your recording card and instructions from the beginning of June; or pick up during the festival at sites listed at bottom of the page*
Take part in The BIG Little Ouse Bioblitz weekend 25-26th June at BloNorton Village Hall A team effort to record as many species as possible. Expert help with identification10am3pm A weekend recording extravaganza hosted by the Little Ouse Headwaters Project Booking not necessaryjust turn up! If you are able to come along and help out with the running of the day, do some recording, or are an expert who can help with ID or leading a walk, please complete our doodle poll, you can also offer your help for our other bioblitzes this year in the same doodle poll
Non-native Species Survey of the Little Ouse
Get out your kayak or canoe (or walk along the riverbank) and help us spot non-native wildlife along the river. We need as many people as possible to sign up to take on a section of the river to survey during this week. You can sign up HERE. View the river sections HERE. To learn how to identify non-native species and how to survey and sign up, come along to one of our free training sessions. Download your recording card from the beginning of June here. Take a Brecks Wildwalk along the Little Ouse River and record the wildlife you see For more information see our Brecks Wildwalks website
Help out with setting up trail camera traps for otters and other wildlife and reviewing the footage. More info soon... More information on this and all the other activities will be available on the website and via our email list - if you wish to keep up to date with these Little Ouse events and events during 2016 and early 2017 email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Brandon Country Park; Santon Downham Forestry Commission; High Lodge; St Helens Picnic Site; Leaping Hare Tourist Information and BTO headquarters, Thetford; Knettishall Heath; Redgrave and Lopham Fen
Events Coming Up:
Forest Fest: 3rd Jun, 10:30-3:30 Brandon Country Park
Sandlines Poetry Workshop: Writing From Dark Spaces 4th Jun Ancient House Museum 1:30-4
NBIS Wildlife Recording Festival: June 18th-26th, Little Ouse River, various locations
Summer Bees of the Brecks: 16-17th July, 10am-4pm Cranwich Heath. Booking essential
Find out more and book at http://www.breakingnewground.org.uk/events
the Month Goshawk
chick, taken during the
installation of the nest cam
C4: Wings Over The Brecks
Two of our Wings over the Brecks Nest Cams are now live! You can see goshawk nest cam being live streamed to the visitor Centre at High Lodge and the stone curlew cam at Norfolk Wildlife Trusts Weeting Heath. Also, check out our website for clips from this years and last years nests.
Breaking New Ground
c/o Visitor Centre, Brandon Country Park, Bury Road, Brandon, Suffolk, IP27 0SU
01842 815465 e: email@example.com t: @TheBrecksBNG
f: TheBrecksBNG. w: www.breakingnewground.org.uk
What the Brecks Means to Me... Like most people, I love Breckland for the space
and the peace it provides, together with the many
opportunities it affords for enjoying wildlife epitomised
by the cry of the curlew across the open heath. I also
relish the dramatic contrasts that exist in the landscape:
between what remains of the heaths and the sombre
masses of the Forestry Commission plantations; and
between both of these and the wide arable fields,
fringed by hawthorn hedges or lines of twisted pines.
For me, above all, Breckland is a landscape which,
while containing ancient features, is a mainly modern
creation, and one which, although rich in wildlife, is in
every way highly unnatural. It encapsulates, moreover,
the important principle that the most interesting
landscapes, and certainly the most fast-changing, are
to be found in the most agriculturally marginal areas.
The Breckland heaths may to an extent represent
survivals from the natural vegetation but their
completely treeless character, attained by the end of
the Middle Ages, was created and sustained by the
grazing of sheep and rabbits and the regular cutting of
vegetation. The latter was carried out with such
intensity that manorial regulations were often drawn up
to preserve gorse as shelter for the sheep flocks, or
as at Thetford in the sixteenth century - to limit the
amount of bracken that individuals could cut. Most of
the heaths were, however, reclaimed during the
agricultural revolution period of the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries, as more and more of the land in
the district fell into the hands of large landed estates.
Much of the Breckland landscape was formed at this
time. The contorted pine rows, for example, all appear
to have been planted, originally as hedges, in the early
nineteenth century and mainly in the years between
1815 and 1830. It is striking that something so recent in
date, and now outgrown and redundant, should have
become an icon of the district. The agricultural
depression from the late 1870s brought this period of
large estates and improvement to an end, and in the
early twentieth century Breckland became a
byword for agricultural dereliction. The
Forestry Commission plantations established
in the 1920s and 30s were planted on
abandoned arable land as much as on surviving heaths
None of these successive landscapes was in any
meaningful sense natural. All were shaped by the
attempts of individuals and societies to wrest an
economic return from this dry and sandy land. When
the great pine plantations began to be established in
the 1920s there was an outcry from conservationists,
and the strips of deciduous woodland planted beside
the principal public roads were in part intended to