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BFER February Newsletter 2022

View this email in your browser Download as a PDF BFER NEWSLETTER 9th EDITION – February 2022 Welcome to the BFER newsletter February already, and thoughts start turning towards spring as the snowdrops and aconites in my garden pop their heads up above ground once again. Even though Covid still lingers, and children are sent […]

9th EDITION – February 2022

Welcome to the BFER newsletter

February already, and thoughts start turning towards spring as the snowdrops and aconites in my garden pop their heads up above ground once again. Even though Covid still lingers, and children are sent home from my daughter’s school on an almost daily basis, I have great hopes for 2022 being a year when we can all get out more, do more, and reconnect with the nicer things in life.

We will be working hard over the next few months setting up a wide range of activities in support of the main BFER projects being delivered by our partners, alongside lots of activities and events for local communities AND groups or organisations working with those members of our communities that would benefit from it the most.

One such project already looking for groups of people with barriers to accessing the landscape, is our Citizen Science project run by the Freshwater habitats Trust. More details on that are below.

I hope you enjoy reading this and would like to encourage you to provide feedback on content, submit ideas and articles, or links to relevant activities in the Scheme area by contacting

BFER Scheme Manager

Project Focus

1.2 – Sea to Chalk
At the end of January, the BFER team went to Mildenhall to explore the river Lark and view the sluice gates at Turf Lock and Gas Pool that will be comprehensively redesigned for our Sea to Chalk project. The aim of the project will be to remove in-river structures to improve fish passage and enable free flow of native species. The project will be led by the Environment Agency, and the plans will soon be made available on the project page.
You can read a blog post over on our website, showing more pictures of the sluice gates along the river Lark and photos of the newly installed bridge next to Turf Lock. The bridge was constructed with a partnership by Suffolk County Council, Mildenhall and Barton Mills Parish Councils with an aim to continue to improve green access in the Brecks.

On our blog post, you can see a 360-degree view of the bridge, click here to read the blog post

3.1 – Citizen Science: Testing the Waters
Citizen Science: Testing the Water with eDNA surveys
We’re looking for a delivery partner that’s engaging with people that have barriers to accessing outdoor environments.

As part of this exciting project to take eDNA samples from waterbodies throughout the Brecks in the hunt for key species, there will be lots of volunteer survey opportunities. In addition, Freshwater Habitats Trust is hoping to engage groups with barriers to accessing outdoor environments including those in social and healthcare systems.
We will use the latest cutting-edge monitoring technology to test water for pollution (nitrate and phosphate), using quick nutrient test kits and for vertebrate species using eDNA survey kits. Both survey methods require volunteers to take water samples from a range of waterbodies in the Brecks area, and the results will provide valuable information to help support future land management and conservation work in the area.

We will provide lots of support and run training sessions to explain the importance of the surveys and how to carry these out. We will then allocate waterbodies (mix of ponds/lake/rivers/steams/ditches) that require sampling and provide all the kits with relevant recording forms.
For this workshop we are looking for two to three groups of between 10 – 15 participants to take part ideally with a group leader to assist participants, and with helping to undertake the surveys in the field.
Do you know of, or work with any groups (of any age) in the Brecks, who have barriers to accessing outdoor environments? If so, please contact


3.5 – Supporting Sustainability 
In January we held the first of our two-part workshops on BFER sustainable collaboration and legacy. Hosted by Resources for Change this workshop was joined by BFER Partners and Project leads to discuss what has worked well and what hasn’t worked well in terms for the scheme’s partnership working. We hope this workshop will lead to talking about the BFER legacy and what we can leave behind after the scheme ends. 

Click the link below to read more about the project and view slides from this workshop.


4.5 Volunteer Hub & Engagement

credit: Terry Chittock

Towards the end of January, we hosted another guided walk around the Pingo Trail at Thompson Common. Led by Positive Steps Fitness, we were joined by 12 participants. 

We are continuing more of these guided walks with the next walk happening in February and March. If you have any ideas for walks, locations, themes, please get in touch:

If you are interested in joining our next guided walk and want to find out more information: click here

In other news
Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to our YouTube channel, we have reached 100 subscribers!

If you would like to see our videos or subscribe – click here

We hope to produce more video content for you in 2022, if there is anything you would like to see then please get in touch.

New camera addition to the project
We have brought a new camera for the project called the Insta360 OneR which allows us to create 360-degree images and spherical images like the one below of the newly installed bridge at Mildenhall. 
See the 360 degree photo here:
Look out for lots more of these in the coming months.

We will be speaking to project partners about using this new piece of kit to create more 360-degree images and potentially videos to enhance the user’s experience. 

What locations would you like us to go to next and take a 360-degree image?

Upcoming Events

We are really excited to share with you some of the wonderful outdoor events and activities that are in the pipeline.

BFER Events

Knettishall Heath Guided Walk: 24th February
Starting at Knettishall Heath, we will hopefully see ponies and go past the school where lady Diana went! Lead by Positive Steps Fitness & Wellbeing

Lynford Arboretum Guided Walk: 17th March
The starting point is Lynford Arboretum car park and our walk will take us where woolly mammoths once roamed, and where Dad’s Army was filmed! Lead by Positive Steps Fitness & Wellbeing

Thetford River Day: 16th July (SAVE THE DATE)
We are looking for partners to come and join us for a day of river celebrations.
Would you like to have a stall or run activities? Then get in touch!


Do you have an event you would like us to promote on our newsletter, on our website, or across our social media pages?

Please complete the form for us to share your event:

Event detail form

Our Partners below are recruiting volunteers for a variety of exciting projects in the Brecks:

Brecks’ Fen Edge and Rivers LP – Events Volunteers

Bush Adventures UK – Events Volunteers and Garden Volunteers

Charles Burrell Museum – Front of House Volunteer, Main Display Area Guide, Café Staff and Engine Specific Volunteer

Tales from the River – Research Volunteer

Run Breckland  Volunteer Marshals

Little Ouse Headwaters Project (LOHP) – Practical Conservation Volunteer

For more information on the opportunities visit:

If you are recruiting volunteers in the Brecks area and would like to advertise your opportunities here, please email:

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Are you subscribed to us on YouTube?

We will be creating more video content this year so make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube and hit the notification bell!

While we are out filming videos for you, you can watch our latest video here:

Geophysics Training – West Stow Country Park

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