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BFER March Newsletter 2023

View this email in your browser Download as a PDF BFER NEWSLETTER March 2023 Welcome to the BFER newsletter Welcome to the March newsletter. Spring is definitely in the air, and our delivery team and partners are busy preparing for a wide range of events and activities to get people out and engaging with our […]

March 2023

Welcome to the BFER newsletter

Welcome to the March newsletter. Spring is definitely in the air, and our delivery team and partners are busy preparing for a wide range of events and activities to get people out and engaging with our fascinating heritage, and introducing lots of new opportunities to explore alternative ways of improving mental and physical well-being by engaging with landscape and nature. 

High on our list of priorities this month will be the recruitment of new volunteers for our own team and partners – including social media and video support, event support volunteers, and blog writer. 

We’ll also be working hard to promote the grant funding opportunities for small community focussed heritage projects, and work with local groups to develop new projects that support our aspirations for landscape, skills and heritage. 

As always I hope you enjoy the interesting review of February’s partnership activity, and that you are tempted by some of the upcoming events and volunteering opportunities coming up. 

BFER Scheme Manager

Project Focus

1.6 – Managing the Margins: Riparian Landowner Advice


On February 21, 2023, at Santon Downham Village Hall in Brandon, The Norfolk Rivers Trust hosted an event – ‘Woodlands for Water & Farming with Trees’, a one-stop shop for those considering woodland creation.

Contributors included the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust with an inspiring keynote speaker – Jon Pawsey, from Shimpling Park Farm, an innovative Suffolk farmer who has recently embarked on his own agroforestry system.

The project is aiming to get trees planted and woodland creation in six key catchment areas. This is due to rivers changing over time and now being less resilient. Attendees listened to case studies and information on ‘the right tree, the right place’ with the aim of supporting the environment, providing some flood management, shading for grazing animals on arable land and receiving revenue from timber all through turning unproductive land and difficult corners into productive areas. To support this project, funding sources and grant funding is available.

For further information or to speak to a dedicated NRT advisor, contact Sam Hurst or Cassie Chanin Cassie Chanin at Norfolk Rivers Trust or a member of the BFER team

3.1 – Citizen Science: Testing the Water


Are you interested in taking part in The Brecks Spawn Survey 2023?

Last month we had a workshop by Anne Carter from the Freshwater Habitats Trust who talked about the project and how you can get involved. This project is running from now until the end of May to record evidence of breeding from frogs and toads.

Freshwater Habitats Trust have posted a training video on their website, giving information about toads and frogs and how to upload your sightings to the data portal.

Click here to watch the video:

For more info:

3.2 – Fen Edge & Rivers Archaeology

Last autumn a geophysical survey was carried out over Suffolk Wildlife Trust land at Lackford in the Lark valley, as part of the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers project .

The fields surveyed were known to have archaeology of Neolithic to Medieval date, due to finds previously recovered and recorded by local metal detector users. They were surveyed to build up a picture of archaeological activity in the Lark Valley and to help set the known sites, such as of West Stow, in their landscape context.

Nine volunteers were trained in undertaking a magnetic geophysical survey; they learnt how to use a cart-based magnetometer system and a hand-held bartington fluxgate gradiometer. The training was delivered by Phase Site Investigations and coordinated by Cotswold Archaeology.

To read more about this article click here:

4.3 – Accessible Rivers: Improving Access

We recently visited RSPB Lakenheath Fen, to see the progress on a new accessible ramp!
As part of our Accessible Rivers project, we are working with the RSPB to create an accessible route around the Reserve. The new path will be created later in the year and will make it easier for everyone to enjoy this amazing place.
The team at the RSPB are making great progress with the current project. You can see from our photos the progress that has been made for the new ramp and the scale of it.

For more on our Accessible Rivers project, click here:

4.5 – Volunteer & Engagement Programme

Thank you to everyone who has attended our winter talk events last month! Tomorrow will be the last of our talks and this one is all about Bugs in the Brecks and given by Dr Ross Piper.

If you are interested in attending please click the link to book your place:

4.6 – 3rd Party Grant Fund

Apply now for our 3rd Party Grant Fund – Up to £2,500 Funding Available!

We are looking for communities and organisations to apply for our 3rd Party Grant Fund

If you are interested & would like to learn more, visit:…

Volunteer with us!

We are looking for volunteers to join us, see a list of our current opportunities:

BFER Blogger Volunteer – BFER is launching a new blog as part of its website and is seeking Blogging Volunteers to assist in writing engaging articles and content. BFER will use blog posts to reach both new and existing audiences. The BFER Blog will report on the diverse range of exciting heritage, wildlife, wellbeing, and art projects and events taking place across the BFER scheme.

BFER PR & Social Media Volunteer – We are looking for a driven PR & Social Media Volunteer to attract and interact with new and existing audiences. Volunteers should have a solid understanding of how each social media channel works and how to optimize content so that it is engaging on those channels. 

BFER Video Editor Volunteer – Can you create and edit videos suitable for websites and social media? We are looking for a video editors to help create, edit and deliver content for our social media platforms, YouTube and Website.

BFER Events & Activities Helper – Events and Activities Helpers assist with one-off BFER events and activity opportunities throughout the year. Participants of these events hugely benefit from and value their interactions with volunteers. Volunteers serve as a ‘friendly face’ representing BFER: engaging visitors and participants, and generally being warm and helpful.

If you are interested in any of the above volunteer roles, please 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

The Icknield Way Association – Officers and Wardens

The River Lark Catchment Partnership – Volunteer Opportunities

Thetford Town Council – Conservation Volunteers

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:

#Breathe in the Brecks


To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th March, BFER will be launching a brand new Nature Therapy Programme for those experiencing the symptoms of menopause. Guided by Nature Therapy Practitioner, Gina Geremia, the programme will be centred around the practice of forest bathing. Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a wellbeing practice which emerged from Japan in the 1980s. It involves easy, gentle walking, and invites participants to engage in sensory immersive activities to prompt mindfulness and nature connection. Over this six-week programme, participants will be invited to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Brecks through a series of guided forest bathing walks. Find out more information here

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

Family Fun:
Create your very own flying machines and miniature boats using natural materials at Lakenheath Fen Nature Reserve!
Sunday 5th March: Air Gliders and River Floaters workshop
Make the most of the windblown branches and other spring materials by crafting your own ‘storm basket’ style tension tray. Great to give as a gift or to keep for yourself!
Sunday 12th March: Flower Trays for Mother’s Day, Brandon Country Park
Easter excitement:
Save the date for our environmental extravaganzas this Easter! Stay tuned to or follow us on social media at @TheBrecksLP for further information and ticket registration:  

  • Welcome in Spring at this family friendly activity morning in the heart of Thetford. Create your own bird boxes and bird feeders, decorate eggs, and discover more about local wildlife.
Thursday 6th April: ‘Wild About Thetford: Spring edition’, Thetford Market Place
  • Welcome the coming of spring and look ahead to Easter by making a simple free-form basket. Try out some basic weaving techniques using willow and other green materials harvested on site.
Thursday 6th April: Easter Fen and river baskets, West Stow Country Park
  • Find out more about the multipurpose tree that was our ancestors’ go-to resource for more than 6000 years. Experience a variety of birch inspired activities and products including birch crafts, fire making and sap sipping!

Thursday 13th April: ‘In search of Birch’, Two Mile Bottom Campsite

For more information on the events & to book: Click here to view our events page

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

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

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