BNG November 17 Newsletter

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Breaking News Newsletter for Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Scheme

Nov 2017

A newsflash for project partners and participants with news items, project updates, special features and forthcoming events. 60 partner organisations will harness growing interest to deliver 46 innovative projects, ranging from citizen science delivering ground-breaking eDNA sampling for priority species in waterbodies, to unlocking stories of Viking invasions, and Boudicca’s revolt. Rivers and We’re thrilled to announce that a new sensitive habitats will be restored with proposal for a £3.3M landscape conservation scheme focussing on the heritage of communities encouraged to value heritage and given skills to maintain it. the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers, has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Commenting on the award, Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Made possible by National Lottery players, the Environment and Public Protection said: This is new scheme aims to understand, reveal, wonderful news for the Brecks in both Suffolk and celebrate and protect the lost heritage of the Norfolk and shows what can be achieved, when Brecks’ Fen Edge & Rivers. It will raise partnership working is supported by the Heritage awareness of how water is fundamental to the Lottery Fund. Suffolk County Council is proud to story of landscape settlement and development, host and support innovative new initiatives such and its biodiversity. as the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnerships. I look forward to seeing the projects develop and the scheme take shape, during this 18-month development period”.

Photo: Lakenheath Nick Ford

New ‘Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers’ Landscape Partnership Scheme wins National Lottery Support

Development funding of £151,100 has also been awarded to help Suffolk County Council progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Drew Bennellick, HLF Head of Landscape and Natural Heritage, said: “Across the UK people are increasingly realising that nature is in trouble and it’s time to take a more proactive approach. Schemes like these provide a creative solution to helping people reconnect with landscapes and the environment, to implement solutions at a truly landscape-scale and tackle issues such as soil loss and flooding by supporting partnerships and coalitions of the willing.”

Further details on the proposals and development phase of the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Conservation effort has long-focused on the Landscape Partnership scheme will be presented Brecks internationally important heaths and by at our FREE Breaking New Ground forests, but legacy development work from Celebration Conference being held on Saturday Breaking New Ground identified significant risks the 18th November at the Carnegie Rooms in and opportunities relating to this lesser-known Thetford. For booking information visit watery landscape, which includes unique geology, www.breakingnewground.org.uk/events the UK’s only 6 fluctuating meres, and a significant percentage of nationally rare species.


Project Focus D2: Brecks Building Skills From 2014 to 2016, Orchard Barn Environmental Education delivered 12 heritage building skills workshops to 456 participants,, exceeding the target of 360. The workshops were held at West Stow Country Park as it provided all of the facilities required and the project was able to leave behind a legacy of traditionally built structures for use by the public and the park itself. This project succeeded in providing individuals and communities with the confidence, knowledge and motivation to use their new skills to repair existing built heritage, as well as how to responsibly source natural and authentic building materials for use in these types of projects. The workshops were extremely popular, with many people returning to take part in different workshops. Through advertising, the workshops were promoted to local builders, owners of heritage buildings and anyone with an interest of learning more about the built heritage of the Brecks. A number of long term unemployed people were also able to attend due to having no restrictive cost barrier. Each session consisted of and introductory session with practical demonstrations, delivered by Orchard Barn staff and trained industry experts. After this, attendees got involved in all sorts of activities including flint walling, lime and mortar rendering, working with cob and clay lump, timber framing, green wood working, coppicing, wattle and daub and beaten earth flooring. Following the workshops, volunteers helped to add the finishing touches to the new roofed noticeboard and park benches which were built during the sessions. A fantastic short film was made about the project by a local volunteer film maker (see below). The interest generated by this project led the local community in West Stow to successfully apply for a Breaking New Ground Grant to repair the ancient flint boundary walls at West Stow church. We have enjoyed organising and delivering these day schools. They have made heritage building skills available to a much bigger audience than would otherwise have come into contact with this subject matter. A big thank-you to all involved.� Sarah Partridge, Orchard Barn Environmental Education CIC

Due to the popularity of the courses, two extra ones were held this autumn at West Stow!

Delivered by Orchard Barn Environmental Education Centre CIC


Brecks Events

BNG Events BNG Final Celebration Conference 10-4pm Saturday 18th November, Thetford Carnegie Rooms Book here: http://bit.ly/2xLcSlP

As the project draws to a close, we’re holding a 1 day conference to celebrate the results of the numerous conservation projects which have been undertaken as part of the BNG scheme. The day will also look at how best to carry forward the momentum built up during the project.

09:30 – 10:00 Registration (tea and coffee on arrival) 10:00 – 10:15 Welcome Nick Dickson (BNG Project Manager) 10:15 – 10:45 Conserving the Brecks’ County Wildlife Sites John Hiskett (Norfolk Wildlife Trust) 10:45 – 11:15Conserving the flora and fauna of the Brecks by Breaking New Ground Robert Hawkes (RSPB) 11:15 – 11:45 Tea and Coffee

11:45 – 12:15 Pine Lines & Pine Connections: The Iconic Landscape Feature of the Brecks Heidi Smith (Norfolk FWAG) 12:15 – 12:45 Sheep in the Brecks Peter Goulding (Breckland Society) 12:45 – 13:45 Buffet Lunch (provided) 13:45 – 14:15 Wings Over the Brecks Rachel Riley (Forestry Commission), Ian Henderson (BTO) and Tim Cowan (RSPB) 14:15 – 14:45 Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow Sam Neal (Norfolk Biological Record Service) 14:45 – 15:15 Tea and Coffee 15:15 – 15:30 Creating Connections Melinda Appleby, Ali Barnes and Diane Jackman 15:30 – 16:00 What Happens Next? Nick Dickson (BNG Project Manager)

Photo: Nick Ford


News from Shifting Sands We are making progress with Shifting Sands! Over the last couple of weeks we have been conducting rabbit warren censuses at many sites throughout the Brecks. We have visited East Wretham, Weeting Heath and Thetford Heath so far. Unfortunately, rabbit numbers are very low at all of these sites apart from East Wretham. At the moment we are unsure of why this might be, but the project aims to increase rabbit numbers by improving their habitat and providing cover from predators and we will continue to monitor rabbit numbers.

We had an internal launch meeting with our 9 partner organisations on 30th October at Oak Lodge in Thetford Forest. We had a great turnout for the meeting, with representatives from Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Plantlife and University of East Anglia. We held this meeting to review the position of the project and to launch the delivery phase with works on the ground commencing soon. More updates to follow!

Zosia Ladds Zosia.Ladds@naturalengland.org.uk Keystone Species Officer – HLF Back from the Brink Norfolk and Suffolk Area Team Natural England

The next newsletter will be the last one from the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership! Get your Brecks Events/News noticed! If there is something that you would like included in the last BNG newsletter, please send details to Amy : BNG.Admin@suffolk.gov.uk Breaking New Ground c/o Visitor Centre, Brandon Country Park, Bury Road, Brandon, Suffolk, IP27 0SU 01842 815465 e: bng.admin@suffolk.gov.uk t: @TheBrecksBNG f: TheBrecksBNG. w: www.breakingnewground.org.uk