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BFER April Newsletter 2022

View this email in your browser Download as a PDF BFER NEWSLETTER April 2022 Welcome to the BFER newsletter March was a month of lovely warming sun, spring flowers, with a sense of summer being not too far away, which ended very abruptly with wild snow flurries and bitterly cold winds. All thoughts about picnics on […]

April 2022

Welcome to the BFER newsletter

March was a month of lovely warming sun, spring flowers, with a sense of summer being not too far away, which ended very abruptly with wild snow flurries and bitterly cold winds. All thoughts about picnics on the heath and BBQs in the garden have been put on hold for a while.

Despite this, it feels like we really managed to make the most of the recent good weather, and that we have well and truly kick-started our engagement activities for this year with a variety of events taking place in recent weeks.

We had a wonderful couple of days at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village’s Open Weekend, with more than 2300 attending. We also, with the help of Nick and Debbie Gosman, introduced lots of people to the wonderful art of Spoon Whittling. A ‘heritage craft’ as well as great mindfulness and calming activity.
‘Tales from the River’ had a very successful event at Oxburgh with the local history group, and we supported Breckland Council’s ‘Great Spring Clean’ event in Thetford, with possibly one of the most critical contributions of the day – supplying all the fantastic volunteers with tea, coffee, and cake!

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter where you can find out a lot more about these activities, as well take a look at all of the things coming up soon.

BFER Scheme Manager

Meet our newest member

Nicole Hudson – Volunteer & Engagement Officer


Nicole has recently joined the team as the Volunteer and Engagement Officer. She will be co-ordinating volunteers and engagement activities across the BFER Landscape Partnership Scheme’s projects. With a background in art and heritage, Nicole has previously worked in public engagement for museums and archives and is looking forward to applying her experiences to projects with an environmental and wellbeing focus. Nicole enjoys arts and craft, attempting to grow vegetables in her garden, and exploring the countryside on foot or in her canoe.

Project Focus

2.2 – Tales from the River

The Tales from the River project held its first drop-in session, together with the Oxborough History Group. 30 visitors came along to look at historic documents & photos from the village and the local area. There were opportunities to view the project’s display panels, enjoy refreshments, chat with each other, and to the volunteers, to share memories of swimming, fishing, boating, or playing in the rivers.
They jotted down on post-it notes how they enjoyed the rivers and put stickers on the map to show where and what recreation they did or if they owned land and welcomed recreation there. Volunteers recorded some oral history interviews on the day and arranged to do several more at people’s homes, as well as people signing up for updates on the project. We heard stories about supposedly bottomless pingos, enormous sea trout making their way up the rivers and streams, about picnics and paddling, and about all the ways water in the area was so important in people’s lives. One person brought in the skull of a large animal found in their part of the river, and another talked about some enormous deer antlers they had found.

We are looking for people who might like to tell us their stories and memories about swimming and other recreation or activities, or would like to send us information – do get in touch

The next project drop-in event is at Thetford Library, on 3 May

3.5 – Supporting Sustainability


During our BFER legacy event last month we teased our latest BFER guide in partnership with CamEO and Resources for Change on ‘How to Fundraise Collaboratively.’ Click the image or link below to view a PDF version of the guide. This guide goes through the pros and pitfalls of collaborative fundraising and tips and tricks. Don’t forget on our webpage you can view our previous BFER guide which was ‘How to Collaborate in Times of Covid.’

4.5 Volunteer Hub & Engagement

March was a busy month for us in terms of engagement events, see below to look at which events we took part in.


West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village & Country Park Open Weekend
We had a stall at the West Stow Open Weekend, talking to members of the public about our scheme and introducing them to the Brecks. We were joined by Nick Gosman who was there doing spoon whittling demonstrations and getting visitors involved. Inside the tent we were joined by SCC Archaeological Service, RSPB Lakenheath Fen, and Rojo Arts.


Thetford Volunteer Spring Clean Litter Pick
More than 30 participants took part in the @KeepBritainTidy ‘Great British Spring Clean’ event and collected 67 bags of rubbish. The BFER team were joined by community volunteers and staff from Breckland Council and Thetford Town Council staff and councillors, Norfolk Fire Service, UPP and Thetford River Group.


Lynford Guided Walk
The last of the guided walk events with Positive Steps Fitness & Wellbeing took place this month with enthusiastic walkers exploring the area of Lynford. The walk was a 7-mile route that took them through Ickburgh and Lynford Arboretum. If you would like us to host more guided walk events like this. please let us know!

Volunteer Opportunity

We are looking for volunteers to take part in our Citizen Science project. Volunteers will be using the latest eDNA testing kits to help us to identify and record vertebrate species including mammals, fish, birds, and amphibians, living in the Brecks waterways. If you would like to take part please email:


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

Citizen Science: Volunteer Training Session (Online): 7th April
Come join us for an online training session to learn how to use the eDNA test kits.
Click here for more info

Tales from the River – Thetford Library Drop-in Event: 3rd May
Come along and tell us your stories of playing in the river in the Brecks
Click here for more info

Suffolk Walking Festival: 14th – 29th May
There are lots of walking events happening in the Brecks, so click here for more info

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!

Festival of the Fens – Celebrating 20 years of LOHP event – 3rd July 11am to 4pm
We will be supporting our friends at LOHP at Parkers Piece, opposite Thelnetham Windmill with a stall and hopefully various craft activities, so add this date to your diary and we hope to see lots of you there!


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:

Social Media
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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:

Tales from the River – Interview ‘Mary’

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