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BFER September Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the September newsletter. As our young people think about returning to school, combine harvesters are finishing off the harvest, and blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows, it feels like the summer is coming to an end.


September 2023

Welcome to the BFER newsletter

Welcome to the September newsletter. As our young people think about returning to school, Combine harvesters are finishing off the harvest, and blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows, it feels like the summer is coming to an end. However, I’m still hoping for an Indian summer, and more opportunities to enjoy my lovely evening walks watching the beautiful sunsets we’ve had over the past month.

Activity for us and our partners has been frenetic over the past month, and some of the key highlights are summarised below. It was great to have our first work experience placements take place with Suffolk Wildlife Trust at Lackford Lakes, and I’m also delighted to say that we have now launched the updated our website,, which I hope you will find more colourful, and easier to navigate. Please do let us know your thoughts!

We also have lots of events and activities planned for the next couple of months, including the first of our much anticipated Geology day-schools, and a River history walk ‘Tales from Mildenhall’s River’, that we hope participants will enjoy. See below for more info.

Lastly I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Tom, our departing Project Support Officer for all his hard work over the past two and a half years. Many of our drone shots, videos, and online content is thanks to him and the skills he brought to the team. He’ll be greatly missed by all in the partnership, and I would like to wish him all the best as he embarks on his new freelance film and photography business. You can find out more about his new venture at

BFER Scheme Manager

In this months edition


Project Focus

1.6 – Managing the Margins

Are you thinking of putting a rainwater harvesting project in place on the farm or considering it as part of a Countryside Stewardship application? Join us for a morning of learning about the practicalities of rainwater harvesting on farm and to look at how rainwater harvesting is being used at Hall Farm, Knettishall.

SAVE the DATE now: More info coming soon on

2.1 – Hidden Heritage: discovering Geology and Archaeology

‘Bones & Stones’ Palaeolithic Day School on Saturday, 30 September 2023
Organised by Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership

Starting at Mildenhall Museum, 6 King Street Mildenhall IP28 7EX at 9.30am – 5pm.
Exploring Palaeolithic human life, set against a half-million years of environmental change in the Brecks Fen Edge and River valleys. Bones and Stones’ is a Day School exploring the story of Palaeolithic human presence in the Brecks Fen Edge and River valleys, set against a story of environmental change over the last half million years. An introduction to the range of archaeological evidence and showing how it relates to a variety of past environments.
The day will include introductory lectures and a museum session, followed by a field trip by coach visiting three Palaeolithic sites, along with a flint knapping demonstration by national expert John Lord. It will be an interesting day out!

Tickets are going fast so be quick and book yours here:

3.6 – Supporting Placements and Youth Training

We offered the fabulous opportunity to do work experience with us and some of our partners, and in August three students, Poppy, Ela and Lauren, engaged in a week’s work experience at Lackford Lakes under the mentoring of Suffolk Wildlife Trust staff, Jodi and Emily.
Smiles all round as they had a great week learning new skills and managing these skills in the wind, rain, and sun!

Read Ela and Lauren’s blog post about their experience HERE 

Are you interested in volunteering or work experience with us?
… just get in touch with Tracy our Partnership Project Officer:

4.4 – Healing Waters: Breathe in the Brecks

BFER kicked off August with a series of three Yoga and Mindfulness Day Camps for young people at West Stow Country Park. The three activity days, led by Jordanna Campbell from Jordanna Offers Yoga and Mindfulness, each had a fun and engaging theme: Enchanted Forest, A Day at the Beach, and Hakuna Matata. The activity days included themed yoga and mindfulness activities, games, quizzes, and craft, with plenty of fun and adventure exploring the landscape of the Country Park. Find out more about what the groups got up to HERE.

Project 4.4: Young People Yoga and Mindfulness Day Camps


Yoga and Mindfulness Day Camps at West Stow Country Park (Video credit: Jordanna Campbell)

In August, we also wrapped up our second summer series of Wellbeing at West Stow, a programme of wellbeing workshops in the beautiful landscape of West Stow Country Park and Anglo-Saxon village. Through the series, three fortnightly wellbeing weeks took place throughout July and August, with workshops delivered by Yoga with Tracey and Sound and Ground. These included welcoming in the day at Early Morning Yoga in the Anglo-Saxon village, bathing in sensory sounds of therapeutic instruments in Sound Bathing, and slowly and mindfully exploring the natural beauty of the Country Park in Forest Bathing. Stay tuned to our website for further opportunities to have a go at mindful workshops at West Stow Country Park and beyond:

4.5 – Volunteer & Engagement Programme

In August, we explored the sensory scenery of West Stow Country Park guided by our sense of smell at our event, Aromatic Adventure. Led by Reveal Nature, this calming guided walk focused on the natural aromatics of native plants as well as plant derived essential oils.

We joined the Thetford Creative Carnival, hosting family wild-craft activities on a BFER stall with Wild for Woods. Families had a go at using natural materials including reeds to create boats, badges, and butterflies. We were also joined by Brym the River Dragon from West Stow Country Park, who made friends with the local community around Thetford high street and market place, sharing information about local rivers and their heritage.

We explored the beautiful Brecks landscape of Knettishall Heath with the Norfolk and Norwich Bat Group at a special evening Guided Bat Walk. During the walk, the group spotted and heard Common, Soprano, and Nathusius’ Pipistrelles, as well as Noctuales. The warm summers evening also treated us with an amazingly clear sky and canopy of stars.

BFER Volunteer Mary Farrell joined the Guided Bat Walk. Read about her experience in our latest blog HERE 

In Other News


Volunteering Opportunities

Make a difference! There are many opportunities to volunteer and get involved with the BFER projects and our partner organisations.Get involved with our exciting events and activities programme this autumn by becoming a volunteer!

BFER Events & Activities Helper – Events and Activities Helpers assist with BFER events throughout the year. Volunteers serve as a ‘friendly face’ representing BFER: engaging visitors and participants, and generally being warm and helpful. This is a great opportunity to get involved with BFER events, meet new people, learn new skills, and explore amazing sites across the Brecks.

Run Breckland Volunteer Marshals – Run Breckland is a charitable organisation based in the Brecks, that organises community running events. Volunteer Marshals are key to helping create a welcoming feeling at each event, assisting to set up, welcome and cheer on participants, mark routes, hand out medals, and assist with time keeping.For more information and other opportunities, visit our BFER Volunteer Hub
or get in touch at:

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

(Photo credit: Imogen Radford)

Discover the fascinating history of Brecks landscapes, recreation, and industry at our upcoming guided history walks: 

Hidden History of West Stow Country Park, 7th & 21st September, 11am, West Stow Country Park

Tales from Mildenhall’s River: River History Walk, 14th September, 1.30pm-3.30pm, Mildenhall

Discover Brandon’s River History, Guided River History Walk, 12th November, 10am-12.30pm, Brandon

(Photo Credit: Geoff Herschell)

Get active this autumn! Whether a walker, jogger, or runner, Run Breckland’s events are fun and welcoming for all levels of experience, and a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Brecks.

Sapiston 10k and 5k Trail Runs, 22nd October, commencing at Honington & Sapiston Village Hall

Breckland Forest 10k Run, 26th November, commencing at Santon Downham Village Hall

Uncover the hidden colours of the Brecks at an evening walk using UV torches to unveil nature’s biofluorescence. 

(Photo Credit: Reveal Nature)

Biofluorescent Night Walk, 4th October, Brandon Country Park

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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