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BFER Newsletter 8th January 2022

View this email in your browser Download as a PDF BFER NEWSLETTER 8th EDITION – January 2022 Welcome to the BFER newsletter Happy New Year! Welcome to the first newsletter of 2022. I hope that the Christmas break has given everyone the chance to reconnect with family and friends and take some time to recharge […]

8th EDITION – January 2022

Welcome to the BFER newsletter

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2022. I hope that the Christmas break has given everyone the chance to reconnect with family and friends and take some time to recharge and recover from all the great works carried out in 2021.

As BFER enters its third year of delivery and Covid still continues to impact our ability to deliver all the fantastic projects, we will need to work harder than ever to catch up on our intended outputs and make sure that we make the most of the continuing support and opportunities provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and all our partners.

This month we will be recruiting a new Volunteer and Engagement Officer to continue developing our exciting programme of events and activities and will be hosting workshops to review barriers to delivery, exploring how we can best support our partners to maximise projects and start thinking about what we need to ensure a best possible legacy from the BFER partnership.

As always, I hope you enjoy this newsletter and a quick look back at highlights from our December activity, and ways to keep in touch and get involved.

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

1.5 Lost Ponds: Reinstating Ghost Pingos
We were excited that this project was able to get started last year. Over the course of a week in September 2021, four target features were excavated, three of which were successfully confirmed as ghost pingos. The fourth however was proved not to be a ghost pingo (despite surface water being recorded during previous visits to the site), but a pond was excavated anyway to see if its colonization differs from the other newly excavated pingos.
In 2022 we hope to review other potential sites for ghost pingos in the Brecks. Visits will hopefully be conducted this year to take core samples from potential sites and install hydrological monitoring equipment. 

We also hope to arrange a visit to the site at Watering Farm for BFER partners, to get an update on how the recently excavated pingo ponds are coming along.


2.2 Tales from the River
2021 saw this project start to get underway with several events held for volunteers. In July we held our first training event, with Norfolk Records Office explaining how to access their archives and do self-guided research. In September Suffolk Archives provided an oral history training and taught volunteers how to use audio recorders and in November volunteers were given a tour of Norfolk Records Office and Suffolk Records Office.
With the knowledge and skills our volunteers have gained, this year we aim to speak to members of the public and record their stories of the Brecks rivers over the years. We will also be working with local libraries to host drop-in sessions for local residents – starting in Thetfrd. Make sure to follow us on social media and visit our website’s events pages for more information.

If you or anyone you know would like to take part in sharing memories and stories, photos or cinefilm/videos of swimming, picnics or just playing by the rivers in the Brecks then please email us:

3.4 Watery Wildlife Education
2021 was also a busy year for this project, BFER partners Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Wildlife Trust have hosted 4 school visits to places like Thompson Common, produced a Breck’s wildlife calendar, and funded 2 films that can be viewed on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust YouTube channel

Here is some feedback from our school visits:

‘Children outside learning about their local environment.’
 ‘Lots of good activities and building on previous learning.’
 ‘Things learned in class were explained and knowledge built upon.’
Children ‘more aware of the variety of wildlife. Good to see [Thompson Common] in a different season.’


In 2022 we aim to continue with more school visits as well as hosting workshops for adults and other activities at Lackford Lakes and Knettishall Heath.

4.5 Volunteer Hub & Engagement
Just before the Christmas break we funded a festive guided walk starting from Santon Downham and completing the Weeting History Trail. We are excited to be able to start delivering these sorts of events and it is great to see people out and about exploring the Brecks landscape.

We are continuing more of these guided walks in 2022 with one happening every month in January, February and March. If you have any ideas for walks, locations, themes or groups who may like to be hosted for this sort of activity, 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
The deadline for applications has been extended to 16th January 2022.

For more information on the job role and how to apply click here: 
Volunteer & Engagement Office role

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

Pingo Trail Guided Walk: 27th January
Discover what a pingo is and learn about one of the countries rarest amphibians! – (Parking in Pingo Trail Car Park situated off A1075 approx. 4.5 miles from Watton) Lead by Positive Steps Fitness & Wellbeing

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


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:

Open Water Lifeguard Training May 2021

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