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BFER July Newsletter 2022

View this email in your browser Download as a PDF BFER NEWSLETTER July 2022 Welcome to the BFER newsletter Welcome to the July newsletter! As June and the summer solstice have now passed, I find myself reflecting on how quickly we seem to have got to the mid-way point of our Scheme’s planned delivery period. Covid-19 […]

July 2022

Welcome to the BFER newsletter

Welcome to the July newsletter!

As June and the summer solstice have now passed, I find myself reflecting on how quickly we seem to have got to the mid-way point of our Scheme’s planned delivery period. Covid-19 really had a massive impact on our ability to engage with volunteers and communities, and although many projects adapted to hybrid and online delivery very well, there were lots of things planned that we were just not possible.
This month however, I’m delighted to say however, as we get to this milestone for the Scheme, that I have a real sense that across the partnership, we’re getting back on track and beginning to gain some great momentum. I hope you enjoy some of last month’s highlights in this newsletter and urge you to give us a follow or a like on social media where there lots more info about current and planned activities and events.

BFER Scheme Manager

Project Focus

1.2 – Sea to Chalk: Restoring Sea Trout and Eels
Last month Ursula Juta from Norfolk Rivers Trust was very busy delivering eels to schools across the Brecks, the schools were given lessons about the history of eels, their habitats and how to look after them. We tagged along to two of the visits to Barnham Primary School and Great Hockham Primary School to see the eels being delivered. We also interviewed the teachers and children to ask them why they are excited to look after eels and why they wanted to get involved.


Eel delivery to Barnham Primary School

‘This just seemed too good an opportunity not to miss, I knew how excited the children would be to have living creatures in the classroom, that they could learn about and enjoy having the experience of looking after’ Mr Holman Year 4 Teacher

Eel delivery to Great Hockham Primary School

‘I’m looking forward to looking after eels so we can find out where they come from, how much do they eat and how their lifecycle changes’ Children from Great Hockham Primary School

‘It’s exciting because we’ve never had anything like this before, it’s nice to see them, instead of just looking at it on a whiteboard in videos, see it in real life’ Children from Great Hockham Primary School


2.2 – River Raiders

The Vikings, history on your doorstep
16 July 2022 to 8 July 2023

As part of our River Raiders project, this month will see the opening of the, The Vikings, history on your doorstep, a new exhibition at Ancient House Museum launching on Saturday 16th July. We are excited to see this exhibition and the beautiful objects on display, including items on loan from the British Museum. We will also be assisting the Teenage History Club at Ancient House Museum with creating digital content for the exhibition.

For more information on the exhibition visit here:

3.1 – Citizen Science: Testing the Waters
The eDNA testing is coming to an end and all samples will be sent of to Nature Metrics to be processed soon. We joined Thetford Town Council’s countryside officer to test a stretch of the River Thet at Ford Meadows. We collected samples at three points along the river and we hope to gain an idea of what wildlife use the river. 


3.4 – Watery Wildlife Education
Last newsletter we reported on Norfolk Wildlife Trust taking school children out into the landscape at Thompson Common. The other half of our Watery Wildlife Education project is led by Suffolk Wildlife Trust, who have been taking schools out to their sites over the past month. Last month year 2’s from Risby CEVC Primary School took a trip to SWF Lackford Lakes to learn about the wildlife there, including learning about their poo! School children also took part in pond dipping to discover what they could find. 


Don’t forget to check out our Watery Wildlife Education project video down below!

4.5 – Volunteer and Engagement Programme


This month, BFER supported Year 3 pupils from The Bishop’s CE Primary Academy, Thetford, to learn about the river wildlife found in their local area, inspired by The River Little Ouse which flows adjacent to the school. The pupils were joined by local artist Jacquie Campbell from Rojo Arts, to consider this local freshwater habitat and its wildlife, and created nature inspired ‘Little Ouse Little Doors’. In July, the pupils will take part in creative writing workshops led by local storyteller Shane Ibbs, to invent narratives about their doors and the creatures that live behind them, and consider how litter would impact the riparian habitat. The doors and stories will be exhibited at the Thetford Creative Carnival, Friday 12th August.

Drake Primary School Botanical Art Workshop Podcast


In May, BFER supported the delivery of freshwater botanical art workshops for the pupils of Drake Primary School (Thetford), led by local artist Jacquie Campbell. Following these workshops, which led to the school’s successful participation in the Norfolk Garden’s Trust Jubilee Art Competition, Drake Primary have produced a podcast about their experience of taking part in the project. The podcast features an interview with BFER Volunteer and Engagement Officer, Nicole Hudson, recorded extracts from the creative workshops, and interviews with pupils who took part.


The Brecks River Day 16th July

BFER Volunteer Opportunities
Become a BFER Events Volunteer:
We are looking for volunteers to assist us at our exciting range of BFER events!
As an Events Volunteer, you will be helping the BFER team to celebrate the fascinating freshwater habitats of the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks. Whether it’s the history, the unique biodiversity, natural tranquillity, or activity opportunities, we are looking for volunteers to assist us in advocating the Brecks and the work of the BFER scheme to wide audiences. As an Events Volunteer, you be given opportunities to assist at BFER events, from setting up, greeting and talking to the public, and running activities. These could include community events, children’s activities, outdoor swimming events, and information stalls.
Location: Various (dependent on the event). Reasonable out of pocket expenses will be offered.
Required skills and abilities: No required skills but volunteers should enjoy engaging with the public.
Dates/times: Various (This is a flexible volunteer offer. Dates of events will be circulated to all events volunteers to choose from).
Contact details:

Join our new team of BFER Blog Writers:

Would you like to write content for a BFER blog? Whether you want to write about the history of an area in the Brecks, celebrate local wildlife, talk about your experiences of outdoor activities such as paddle sports or outdoor swimming, or simply share what makes the Brecks special to you, we would love to hear from you! Blogging Volunteers would have flexibility to choose the topic of their Brecks blog post, and no prior experience is required.
Location: Remote
Dates/times: Flexible. Volunteers will be asked to produce at least one blog post.
Contact details:

Norfolk Wildlife Trust are looking for a Water Level/ Monitor volunteer for the Ghost Pingo Project. The volunteer will need to regularly record water levels and undertake periodic fixed point photography on sites being targeted by the ‘Ghost Pingo’ project, all in the Breckland area. Collating records and submitting to project lead. Sites need to be checked on a minimum monthly basis. Between 1 and 4 sites will need to be visited (all of which lie within 10 miles of each other, located in the eastern Brecks)

If you are interested, get in touch:

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

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:

Upcoming Events

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



Have you done outdoor swimming before and are you interested in developing your skills?

Join us at Lynford Water for a group coaching session. The session will be held in the water with experienced coaches and lifeguards, with chance for a debrief afterwards.

Tickets cost just £5

Date: Sunday 3rd July

Location: Lynford Water public lake, event approved by Forestry England
Lynford Arboretum, Lynford, IP26 5HW

For more info & to book:

Also look out for this new event at Cavenham Heath

Join Natural England for a guided walk around Cavenham Heath National Nature Reserve supported by Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Project.

Book a place here: 
Meet the Wardens for wildlife walk around Cavenham Heath NNR Tickets, Fri 8 Jul 2022 at 18:30 | Eventbrite

BFER Events

Join BFER at the Festival on the Fens: 3rd July 11am – 4pm
The Festival on the Fens is an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Little Ouse Headwaters Project. We will be there with a BFER stall so come and say hi!

Youth Photography Workshop: 9th July 10am – 4pm
An opportunity for children aged 10-16 years to join us at West Stow Country Park and develop their photography skills and explore the beautiful landscape in this seasonal photography workshop with local photographer; Phil Morley.

Photography Workshop for Adults: 10th July 10am – 4pm
Photography Workshop for Adults at West Stow Country Park. Develop your photography skills and explore the beautiful landscape in this seasonal photography workshop with local photographer, Phil Morley.

The Brecks River Day (Healing Waters): 16th July (SAVE THE DATE)
Join us for a day of health and wellbeing focused activities/stalls including a 5K run along the river, yoga, meditation with sound bathing elements, urban forest bathing, and axe throwing and paddle sports.

Introduction to Mediation at West Stow Country Park: 18th July 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Join us to explore the practices of meditation and breathwork at West Stow Country Park.

Forest Bathing at West Stow: 20th July 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Slow down and unwind at West Stow Country Park. Join local practitioner Nicky from Sound and Ground to take part in forest bathing.

Sound Bath at West Stow: 20th July 6:45pm – 7:30pm
Take part in a deeply relaxing south bath in the beautiful surroundings of West Stow Country Park. Join local practitioner Nick from Sound and Group to take part in a relaxing sound bath.

Evening Yoga at West Stow: 22nd July 6pm – 7pm
Join local practitioner Tracey for a calming and balancing yoga session. Each session will combine movement with the breath to shake off the week and ease you into your weekend.

Evening Meditation at West Stow: 22nd July 7:15pm – 7:45pm 
Join us at West Stow Country Park for an evening of meditation session with local practitioner, Yoga with Tracey. These guided meditation sessions will use breath and visualisation to help you to pause and reset, ready for the weekend.

Thetford Riverside Walk with Jon Tyler: 23rd July 11am – 12:30pm & 1:30pm – 3pm

Explore the plants and wildlife found along the scenic waterways of Thetford, with guide Jon Tyler. Join Jon, as he leads a relaxed guided walk along the river banks of Thetford. Discover local wildlife, enjoy peaceful mindfulness, and embrace the great outdoors.

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

Check out our latest video of the children and teachers from Caston Primary School on a school trip to NWT Thompson Common as part of our Watery Wildlife Education project

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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